Letting babies “cry it out” is an idea that has been around since at least the 1880s when the field of medicine was in a hullaballoo about germs and transmitting infection and so took to the notion that babies should rarely be touched (see Blum, 2002, for a great review of this time period and attitudes towards childrearing).
In the 20th century, behaviorist John Watson (1928), interested in making psychology a hard science, took up the crusade against affection as president of the American Psychological Association. He applied the mechanistic paradigm of behaviorism to child rearing, warning about the dangers of too much mother love. The 20th century was the time when “men of science” were assumed to know better than mothers, grandmothers and families about how to raise a child. Too much kindness to a baby would result in a whiney, dependent, failed human being. Funny how “the experts” got away with this with no evidence to back it up! Instead there is evidence all around (then and now) showing the opposite to be true!
A government pamphlet from the time recommended that “mothering meant holding the baby quietly, in tranquility-inducing positions” and that “the mother should stop immediately if her arms feel tired” because “the baby is never to inconvenience the adult.” Babies older than six months “should be taught to sit silently in the crib; otherwise, he might need to be constantly watched and entertained by the mother, a serious waste of time.” (See Blum, 2002.)
Don’t these attitudes sound familiar? A parent reported to me recently that he was encouraged to let his baby cry herself to sleep so he “could get his life back.”
With neuroscience, we can confirm what our ancestors took for granted—that letting babies get distressed is a practice that can damage children and their relational capacities in many ways for the long term. We know now that leaving babies to cry is a good way to make a less intelligent, less healthy but more anxious, uncooperative and alienated person who can pass the same or worse traits on to the next generation. …
I know this is beating a dead horse, but there are still influential people in the so-called “peace movement” who can’t or won’t face reality. Perhaps it’s too comfortable being irrelevant. After all, if the global WOT ended, they might have to find something else to do.
Functionally speaking, what we have here is an alliance between the eastern establishment peace movement and the military industrial complex.
“In his latest weekly address to the nation, President Obama asserts that America’s questions about 9/11 have been answered. If only it were so.
“The questions of 9/11 have only continued to pile up higher since that fateful day, and despite official platitudes we are no closer to having those questions answered today then we were when they first arose. In fact, for some of the most important 9/11 questions, the government’s own documents and records that could conceivably answered them have been destroyed, meaning we may never have answers.
“The unanswered questions of 9/11 are too numerous to enumerate, but they include: …”