Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Life Long Harm Of Letting your baby CIO(Cry It Out)

A MENTAL HEALTH EXPERT WARNS THAT POPULAR ADVICE TO IGNORE YOUR CHILD'S TEARS MAY CAUSE LIFE-LONG HARM Press Release Amelia Hill Education correspondent The Observer Nanny no longer knows best, the 'Contented Little Baby Book' could undermine a child's development, and Dr Spock's advice that a child should be left to cry could cause psychological damage. When it comes to the crowded and hotly debated world of how best to bring up baby, there is a new theory that uses brain scans to argue that controlled crying (sleep training) not only damages babies' brains but produces angry, anxious adults. [Note: Cape Town Psychologist, Abraham le Roux, points out that the results of forcing babies to ‘self soothe’ (necessary for sleep training) are of serious concern too. Later as adults these people are likely to need to continue to try to self soothe, and the soothers used may include alcohol, drugs, compulsive overeating, obsessive sex, etc.] 'If you ignore a crying child, tell them to shut up or put them in a room on their own, you can cause serious damage to their brains on a level that can result in severe neurosis and emotional disorders later in life,' said Professor Margot Sunderland. Sunderland is a leading expert in the development of children's brains and a British Medical Association award-winning author, who has already written more than 20 books on child mental health. Based on her four-year study of brain scans and scientific research, Sunderland entreats parents to reject the modern theories of baby experts such as Gina Ford and Channel 4's Supernanny, Jo Frost, who preach strict discipline, routine and ‘controlled crying’. Sunderland's book, The Definitive Child Rearing Book, to be published next month,* provides step-by-step guidance on how to react to every swing in a child's mood, even down to the best way to hug an upset baby. 'The blunt truth is that uncomforted distress may cause damage to the child's developing brain,' said Professor Sunderland, who is the Director of Education and Training at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London. She believes that parents often do not give adequate recognition to their children's distress. While the importance of touching, cuddling and physically soothing their babies is paramount, she also advises parents of the dangers of attempting to minimise their children's anger and emotional distress. 'Parents should never try to persuade their child out of feeling a certain emotion,' she said. 'Even if your child is reading a situation in a completely different way to you, it is important to prove to them you are empathising through the time you give them and the language and facial expressions you show. 'If your child is upset, you will increase rather than reduce their feelings of stress by not taking their upset as seriously as you would wish someone to take your own,' she added. ‘Attempting to jolly them out of their mood will result in them internalising their stresses, which will take the same toll on their bodies and brain as unsoothed crying.’ Sunderland also believes parents often unwittingly discipline children through shame and fear. 'It can get quick results and parents often do not realise they are doing it,' she said. 'But the price on a child's developing brain can be very high and leave a legacy of anxiety and social phobia for life. It is all too easy to break a child.' Instead, Sunderland encourages parents to be very emotional when their child is well-behaved and very matter of fact when they behave badly. Sunderland believes that parents who use fighting words and phrases that demand absolute and immediate obedience will create a defiant child while thinking words, that activate their brains by giving them a choice, will defuse intense states of emotional arousal. Often, however, Sunderland advises that words are not necessary and that calmly holding the child who is refusing to listen is enough. 'Sometimes the child's brain is too hyper-aroused to respond to language and a warm and loving touch is the only thing that can calm them down without conflict.' Sunderland offers the following advice to parents: · Do not try to persuade the child out of their emotions, however extreme or unreasonable you might feel those emotions to be. · Do not minimise their emotions: show through touch, tone and facial expression that you understand the intensity and quality of what they are going through. ·Be their emotional rock: be kind and calm.

No comments: