(CIO) Cry It Out = Compassion Intentionally Obscured
Quite a few parents share they let their child “cry it out”, even on Facebook. We felt moved to write this for all of the parents who have an off feeling about doing this and yes there is another way.
Compassion is Intentionally Obscured (CIO) when leaving a little infant or child behind closed doors to cry alone. Would an adult ignore another family member who is intensely or hysterically crying? When someone ignores anyone, especially a crying child, they are ignoring their heart. To ignore another isn’t in our nature. We are born compassionate.
Alfie Kohn, Author of Unconditional Parenting cites a study, where the heart rate of infants increased the highest, not as a result of a startling noise, but when they heard another baby cry. Ignoring the pain of another is choice of disconnecting from the heart and a choice to suppress compassion that only an adult with reasoning capacity is capable of doing no matter how far fetched their justification for disregarding any soul. Why does our society condone an overt lack of compassion expressed toward a pure and innocent child who clearly is frightened or uncomfortable and simply desires to be near his parents, held and comforted, when it becomes dark and the family goes to sleep?
Jean Liedhoff, author of the Continuum Concept, talks about tribes in the jungle where adults and children know they are ALWAYS welcome and wanted. Why does the “civilized” western world think it’s okay to shun an infant or small child, a pure blessing from our creator? Parents who condone ignoring their child’s cries, because they have read that a child is “learning to self-soothe”, must wake up and realize that is complete nonsense. Anyone, especially a child whose cries of fear and distress are met with no response, eventually shuts down or feels insignificant and insecure. This is traumatic for a little child whose only figures of love and care have intentionally ignored his need for comfort and closeness.
In addition to the psychological trauma, how about the physical harm? Dr. Sears writes, “The blood pressure goes up. The pressure gets so high, new blood with oxygen can’t flow into the brain. So the brain can be deprived of oxygen. And that’s not all. It gets worse. The brain can be flooded with stress hormones, and we know that stress hormones can damage sensitive developing nerve tissue. So, night after night, weeks and weeks of crying can actually harm a baby’s brain.”
We say we want a world of love, peace, contribution and compassion. If this desire is really true we must start with our children and be their rock of everlasting compassion, otherwise the cycle of indifference, cruelty and disregard for life on earth will continue to be tolerated and familiar.
Our hearts deepest compassion goes out to parents, children, our children’s children. We credit Jean Leidhoff as the inspirations for this article.