Monday, July 30, 2007

The Ferber Baby meets The Focker Baby

Do you remember in the mid 1990s when everyone was talking about the babies in orphanages in Romania? That was the first time I became aware of some of the horrors going on around the world. These babies were going colorblind because they had no colors in their cribs to stimulate them. Infants, toddlers, and even older children sat in cribs (sometimes tied to them) all day and all night... there were not enough adults to care for them, so they were not cared for. Most of these children cried day and night when first placed in the orphanages. It broke the hearts of reporters and television viewers alike to see these children cry and cry and cry...

Eventually, the children would give up and stop crying.

That broke our hearts even more.

And yet, somehow, we don't accept that we are doing the same thing to our children. How many times have you heard that you need to let your baby 'cry it out' or 'learn to self-soothe'? Have you heard of the 'Ferber baby'? The baby that doesn't need adult attention, it just shuts up and goes to sleep by itself. That is SO SAD!!! The Ferber baby is a baby who has given up!!!
I LOVE the scene in "Meet the Fockers" where Jack Byrnes is explaining how they have "Ferberized" their grandson by never responding to his cries and not picking him up. Bernie Focker turns to him and says proudly "we always picked up Greg when he cried. We didn't Ferberize him, we Fockerized him!"
Hey, now that sounds like a good idea! Hold the baby when he is sad. Go to him when he cries (after all, babies do not develop object permanence until 6-8 months--that means that if they cannot see you, they don't know that you still exist, and feel truly ALONE). In other words, let's show our children that we love them, shall we?! Let's go Fockerize them!

3 comments:

alisaterry said...

Dr Sears actually cites studies in his books about how researchers studying how babies soothe themselves were alarmed to discover they weren't - they were actually going into shock and shutting down to preserve themselves in case help never came.

How tragic is that?

(chandelle) said...

i loved that part in the movie! the fockers were my kind of parents. jeremy and i watched that movie just laughing hysterically saying, "THAT'S US!" :)

Caitlin said...

Love this! I have two little Fockerized children here! Okay, that just sounds weird . . . :/ Hrrm. Anyway, great post!

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