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Training in Times of Non-Conflict

Training in times of non-conflict means that you teach your child appropriate behaviors before the actual potential problem occurs. Many times your child will act in a way that is displeasing to you simply because he literally doesn't know any better. Training in times of non-conflict allows you to teach your child what appropriate behaviors are. It is also a time to work out the "kinks" without the benefit of people watching both of you.

What are some situations you might want to train for? Perhaps you have a friend coming over to play with your child. Training before the conflict would be to tell your child Bobby is coming to play, then going through the motions of what will happen when Bobby gets there. You will greet Bobby at the door and do whatever you do. Then perhaps you will go to your son's room to play. Bobby will want to play with your son's toys. Your son needs to share toys with Bobby. And so forth.

Perhaps you are going to Bobby's house to play. You want to avoid a meltdown when you tell your son it is time to go home. You tell your son what is expected and do a practice session.

Maybe you are going to go out to dinner at a restaurant or friend's house. You can practice appropriate voice levels and manners.

It is possible you have decided it is time for your son to sit more quietly at church. You might have practice church time at home. I once attended a conference where a woman spoke who had 8 children. She had some twins and all of her children had come closely together. She was determined that they would sit on the front row and be good. They practiced at home each day until her children got it.

All training in times of non-conflict needn't be in preparation for social situations. It can be for a happy attitude when it is nap time, clearing dishes after a meal, etc. The point here is that training your child before it is a battle of wills between the two of you will help prepare you both. You can clearly outline your expectations and have that clear in your head. Your child can be informed of those expectations and learn how to carry those expectations out.

What age do you start this? Probably younger than you think. You need to decide what age your child is ready, but know that your child understands far more than he can communicate. Keep expectations and instructions age-appropriate, in both directions. Don't be too hard but also don't be too easy. This is something that can be so beneficial to both you and child. Give it a try!

Poll Results: What was the average length of naps for baby ages 5-6 weeks? (approximate)


45 minutes or less: 13 votes (9%)
1 hour: 17 votes (12%)
1 hour 15 minutes: 13 votes (9%)
1.5 hours: 35 votes (25%)
1 hour 45 minutes: 14 votes (10%)
2 hours: 36 votes (25%)
More than 2 hours: 12 votes (8%)
Baby basically didn't nap: 0 votes (0%)

Total of 140 votes

Toy Trains: Random Information

I thought I would post some information here since I recently did a post about toys. As I mentioned on that post, my son loves Thomas the Tank Engine. A few weeks ago my husband and I were out Christmas shopping (and yes, I am all done--wahoo!). We were at a locally owned toy store looking at Thomas stuff. While there, I saw wooden toys trains by the company Melissa and Doug.

We had been planning on adding to Brayden's simple Thomas track set at Christmas with an expansion pack. While looking at this Melissa and Doug track set, I saw that it was not much more expensive for a whole lot more stuff. I talked to a sales associate about it and asked him about quality and the differences and such. He said that Thomas has more detail painted on it, and the Thomas tracks are double-sided while Melissa and Doug are not, but that the Melissa and Doug are good quality at a third the price. He also said that company has a policy of replacing any missing piece for any reason for free. Even on their puzzles (the make a lot of toys for children).

I went home and looked on Amazon and found the set for 30 dollars cheaper than at the store, which ended up being only 10 dollars more than a small expansion Thomas track set would have been. So, I wanted to pass this along. Brayden doesn't really care the brand, and I also figured for a track set, it didn't matter what brand it was.

Also, after looking over all of the Melissa and Doug toys at the store, I was quite impressed. They make some wonderful toys (and some weird ones). I love that they replace anything your child loses or breaks. And no, I have no affiliation or kick-back from them. It is just a new discovery I wanted to pass along.


Even though I prefer not to debate Babywise, there have been some debates. Here they are:

  • TulipGirl said...
    Do you think BW will work for all moms/babies? If not, what are some early signs you would have a mother look for to determine whether or not BW is "working" for her baby?
    November 24, 2007 10:25 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I think BW will work for any parent who wants it to work. If BW is right for you, your family, your baby, and your personality, you can make it work. Consistency is key, along with dedication. I think BW will work for any baby whose parents are committed to it, willing to make sacrifices in their own lives to get it working, and are consistent with it. If you think it isn't working for your baby, you need to evaluate if it is what you want to do. If it is, recommit and stick with it. If it isn't, try something else.
    December 19, 2007 2:35 PM
  • TulipGirl said...
    In an exchange with Anne Marie Ezzo in a BW support group, she said that Babywise isn't supposed to be teaching "Cry It Out." Why do you think that most BW mothers take from the book the need to CIO, if that's not what the authors intend?
    November 25, 2007 11:04 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    I can see why she would stay away from a CIO stance because of the negative connotations connected to such an acronym; however, to say BW does not tell you you need to let your baby cry is false. It says that some crying is necessary and that it won't hurt your baby and that you shouldn't let the crying deter you from what is best for your baby. I would have to see her exact comments to know exactly what she said. BW does say to let your baby cry for naps.
    December 19, 2007 2:39 PM
    TulipGirl said...
    So, the author states that she does not teach cry-it-out, but the mothers who read it take away that message. I wonder what other areas of miscommunication arise from the book?Crying is a reality for infants. However, it is not medically accurate to say that crying "won't hurt" your baby, because crying can be harmful in brain development. Google around crying and cortisol. What Babywise leads parents to believe in crying and other areas is contrary to what is factually known about infant brain development and infant growth.That raises two concerns I have--first, authors intent being different from the message parents get; and second, a lack of solid understanding of infant growth and development by the authors.Grace and peace,
    January 27, 2008 9:29 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    First of all, "she" is not the author of On Becoming Babywise. Rather than speculate and wonder what she said and what the context is, I will ask her. Second of all, please don't be patronizing. I have read from the American Academy of Pediatrics (in a published book) that babies need to cry for a certain amount of time each day. I have said I started BW with my son late (9 weeks). He cried far less in a 24 hour period after we started than he did before we started BW. And if I may be permitted some indulgence, he is about the smartest, cutest, happiest little 2.5 year old boy you will ever see. I have taken your advice and Googled the information you suggested. I have to say that I am unconvinced. I find the studies to be quite inconclusive and in need of further research. To say crying is bad for your baby and raises stress levels of course would worry parents, especially those of babies who have reflux or are colicky. So what do those moms do? No worries, twice as much crying for a colicky baby is not twice as stressful. Um...what? Wouldn't that necessitate further looking into it? Does that mean that only X amount of crying is stressful and after that it is no longer stressful, or are colicky babies just superior at handling stress? Also, there are different reasons babies cry. Perhaps more crying in a colicky baby isn't more stressful because the baby isn't crying out of a real NEED. Perhaps the stress came, for example, when baby was crying because he was hungry. Research would have to be done to define what the cry was for and what the stress levels were at the time. Of course, studies on infants are hard to come by because of obvious ethical issues.You also have to be careful about what you read online. The internet can be a great resource, but there aren't the same requirements to publish something online as there are to publish something in a book or journal. I have conducted studies and published them in journals. I know what it takes. I, obviously, have published stuff online, not only this blog but on websites. The reviews are no where comparable. If you ever read something online and want to know more about it, it is wise to go to a book or journal, and preferably right to the source. Go to that study. Any good study will include the limitations and possible misrepresentations of the study. It will include what those conducting the study wanted to find, their hypothesis. It will describe the procedures used to come to the conclusions. The best kind of study is a double-blind.
    January 27, 2008 2:21 PM
    TulipGirl said...
    I haven't been patronizing. I respect you as a mother. I am concerned that you have only two very small children and are writing very authoritively and widely giving advice about something that has mixed results for many parents.Anne Marie Ezzo is the co-author of "Preparation for Parenting," the precursor of "On Becoming Babywise." And I'm quite well-aware of the importance of non-biased, double-blind, peer-reviewed, journal-published studies. Which ones have you found that back up the eat-wake-sleep routine? About a decade ago when I was first using BW, I found one out of Finland(?) that. . . with a stretch. . . could support it. Other than that. . . well. . . As to cortisol and colic. . . it's a difficult issue. The theory is non-comforted crying bathes the brain in more cortisol than comforted crying. Like you said, it isn't clear cut. However, being cavalier about uncomforted infant crying--when more research is needed--really does a disservice to mothers and their babies.
    January 27, 2008 4:56 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    When you are in the middle of something and experiencing it, it is often the best time to write about it. I write from my experience. I write what I have found to be true. I don't make things up. I practice what I recommend. If I were looking back on something that happened 5 years ago, I wouldn't remember it as well. You remember things as better than they were. I say you are patronizing because you are asking questions disguised with concern, and already have a concrete, formed opinion. It is passive-aggressive. I much prefer the straight-forward statements. You aren't looking for information, you are looking to either change my mind or perhaps even try to discredit me in some way. I don't claim to be more than I am. I am a mother of two children. I do Babywise. Right now. I have a lot of experience. I had to problem solve on my own and learned a lot because of it. I wish to pass some of what I have learned on to others--why keep it to myself? Why should I allow all commentary on the internet on Babywise to remain negative? I have a positive experience, and have every right to share that. Apparently the fact that I only have two small children is of little concert to Gary Ezzo since he as asked me to contribute to I don't make this stuff up. I have nothing to gain in any way from writing it. It only takes time. But I am happy to help other mothers. Perhaps fewer problems would arise if mothers had support and knew how to get support than if all they could find online was BW bashing.
    January 27, 2008 5:14 PM
  • TulipGirl said...
    "Every negative comment I knew to be false because it wasn't true with my children."Your perception of your experience with two very young children is positive--but that doesn't negate the negative experience other parents have had with their children. I used BW (even facilitated the classes!) I definitely understood it and implemented it with flexibility and common sense. And later I realized that the percieved benefits were far outweighed by the downfalls for our family. I understand that at this point you believe BW to be only good. Can you understand that for other parents it has not been good? And. . . btw. . . You've presented a straw-man myth to debunk--those who raise concerns about Babywise aren't misrepresenting it as "Feed Your Newborn on a 3 Hour Schedule No Matter What--Even if He is Hungry Sooner."There is a place online where parents come together to discuss the pros and cons of Ezzo parenting, and you are welcome to register and join in the conversation! http://www.awareparent.netGrace and peace,
    January 27, 2008 9:23 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    no, I didn't present a straw man myth. I presented a myth that I read online. It is passed around on the internet and through word of mouth. I have even had moms who decided to start BW ask "now, I feed him every three hours, even if he is hungry sooner, right?" It is a common misconception. I wrote about it because it is something I have read, something I have heard, and something I have been asked. I am not exaggerating it in any way. And I have never said BW is the end all, only way to raise a child. Is it the way I choose? Yes. Is it the way that is best for my family? Yes. This blog is created for those who are doing Babywise and need a positive resource online. For some reason, there are people out there who put a lot of time and energy into what I would call "bashing" Babywise. This blog is here to give people some positive information if they want to do Babywise. It is not intended to "talk people into it." My target audience is moms who are already doing Babywise.There are a lot of ways to raise a child. I wasn't raised on BW. My husband wasn't. We both turned out just fine. I am not interested in trying to talk people into raising children a certain way or to tell them that other ways are "wrong" or bad. I believe the majority of parents out there have their children's best interest at heart and and trying to do what they believe to be the best thing for them. I can't tell them what that is. Only they can.I appreciate your invitation, but like I said, I am not looking to persuade people to do anything. I think people need to read and research for themselves. I am happy to answer any questions I can. And while I do love to debate in general (I did it in college and was #1 at my university), "debating" babywise has no appeal to me. Quite frankly, people who oppose BW seem to only want to bash on it. I find that a waste of my time. They would want to talk me out of it, it isn't going to happen, and anything positive I had to say would be discounted. I would rather continue to spend my efforts in writing helpful posts for this blog.
    January 27, 2008 1:50 PM
    TulipGirl said...
    You stated you don't believe the negative stories. . . well. . . That's pretty dismissive of other parents' experiences. In a previous comment you wrote, "I think BW will work for any parent who wants it to work. If BW is right for you, your family, your baby, and your personality, you can make it work. Consistency is key, along with dedication. I think BW will work for any baby whose parents are comitted to it, willing to make sacrifices in their own lives to get it working, and are consistent with it."I totally believe that you don't think that BW is the only way to parent. I do have concerns, however, that within the BW paradigm, parents may have difficulty evaluating when it isn't "working" and catching that early. And to be honest--sometimes it DOESN'T work--even when parents really want it to work. Due to some of the medical misinformation in BW, the pattern of an individual baby's growth, and decision-making within the BW framework--sometimes BW can be detrimental to the health of a baby. I think ALL moms need encouragement! (So, good for you!) But in your desire to encourage mothers as they are implementing BW, please do so with eyes wide open, being aware of the problems SOME mothers and babies have. Wouldn't you rather help a mother catch problems early, rather than becoming another "failed" Babywise statistic?
    January 27, 2008 4:35 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    The things I have read that I don't believe and am referring to are statements like, "if you do babywise, your baby WILL become dehydrated, experience failure to thrive, and even die" (emphasis added). I didn't make that up--that is something online I read when I googled Babywise. It is not a correct statement. I know it to not be true because I have two living, breathing children who are growing steadily and have never been hospitalized or anything close to it. And I honestly think any mom who has a baby get to that point (dehydration or failure to thrive) was ignoring hunger cues from her baby, whether intentionally or not. A mom cannot do Babywise if she isn't going to accept the fact that growth spurts happen and baby will get off schedule at those times. She cannot do babywise if she cannot recognize hunger in her child. That is why I say, just like Babywise does, to always feed your baby when baby is hungry. If you think it isn't a growth spurt, but baby is hungry, you still feed him. Then you investigate and problem solve. Is there a milk supply issue? Is baby not taking a full feeding and therefore getting hungry sooner? Whatever the reason, you feed baby first. Lest you think it this is not supported in Babywise,"If your baby is hungry, feed him or her. If the child routinely shows signs of hunger before the next scheduled feeding, then find out why, RATHER THAN letting the baby cry it out. Your baby's routine is to serve you and your baby, not the reverse" (emphasis added, p. 145).And I would point out that failure to thrive can happen on any system. A good friend of mine currently is breastfeeding her second child, a 2 month old. She does demand feeding, basically attachment parenting. This is the proclaimed "only way" you can feed a baby successfully while nursing (despite mothers like me who do otherwise). The baby has lost a pound in the last two weeks. Her pedi has said she is failing to thrive and that baby needs to be on a schedule because she doesn't demand to be fed. She will go 5-6 hours in the day between feedings before mom will finally think she should get her up. She was told at the hospital by La Leche League to do demand feeding and everything would be fine. "Baby knows when she is hungry." She demand-fed her first without problems. She is an experienced mom, and she still had problems.So a baby experiencing failure to thrive can happen under any parenting philosophy, especially if mom doesn't use her common sense and step in. If you are demand feeding a baby, you still shouldn't let a newborn go longer than a few hours between feedings. If you are feeding a baby on a schedule and baby wants to eat before it is time, then you should feed him. It is a simple solution to potential problems.
    January 27, 2008 5:01 PM
    Nanny4Two said...
    i don't think this is the place for tulipgirl to get people to go to the website she mentioned. i mean most of us are babywise alumni, and most of us agree with what gary ezzo wrote in that book and are happy with the success we found with the book.i for one am not going to bash mr.ezzo when i nanny for 2 children under the age of 3, and there both perfect.
    January 29, 2008 6:12 AM
  • kindra said...
    Oh I appreciate your defense of BW so much! As a mom of a happy, healthy 6 month BW baby girl, I am so sick of BW bashing! I love that you have this blog here to help us other mom's out in the way of advice and questions. I gave up on looking for a BW question and answer forum, because like you said as soon as you Google it, all you find is how terrible it is. So again, thank you.
    February 7, 2008 1:03 AM
  • TulipGirl said...
    My experience has been that within the eat/wake/sleep cycle, when baby is due for a nap sometimes mom has trouble seeing hunger cues. When a baby is going through a growth spurt, even if a 3 hour or so eat/wake/sleep routine was fine before can need to be modified. But if a mom isn't attuned to seeing hunger cues out of "cycle" hunger cues can be interpreted as tired cues. As always--babies require alert moms!When I experienced this and was babywising, a Contact Mom recommended to me that I try an eat/wake/eat/sleep cycle. It helped my son get the additional calories he needed during that growth spurt, led to better naps, and didn't throw our lives out-of-sync.
    January 27, 2008 9:09 AM
    TheOzz said...
    Valerie, Thanks for contributing to I hope you continue with more.A word of CAUTION on the advise from Tulipgirl (aka Alexandra Bush). She is an outspoken critic of Babywise. She authors or contributes to several web sites that openly criticize Babywise and the authors.
    January 27, 2008 8:59 PM
    Nanny4Two said...
    I want to thank you for writing such a imfortaive blog about YOUR experinace w/ babywise.I have to agree w/ the man above, I don't take critism too well, and I feel like tulipgirl is coming down on moms who use babywise.I don't feel bad about the mom of the kids I nanny using this wonderful book.This is our experiance tulipgirl, not everybody elses.
    January 29, 2008 6:07 AM
    TulipGirl said...
    I honestly believe the spirit of my comment has been misunderstood. I was sharing a way to adapt Babywise advice that I learned from a GFI contact mom when I was still using the Ezzos' material with my third child. (I used it with my first three children.) Since I didn't see it offered in the article, I thought I would offer it as something else totry in the event that naps are not going well. I only wish I hadreceived that advice earlier as it was a very helpful adaptation and may help to explain why my third child did better with Babywise than my first two. I would hope that this piece of advice -- which came from inside the GFI camp -- would not be judged according to what Hank doesn't like about me, but on its own merits, to help those mothers and babies who might benefit from it.We are mothers together. . . sharing our experiences. We do need to both give and receive encouragement.Grace and peace,
    January 29, 2008 6:23 PM
    TheOzz said...
    It is true that the spirit of Tulipgirl's comments could be misunderstood. Yes, there are things about Tulipgirl that I do not like, and those things are based on the fact that she has shown no desire to help people do anything but get away from Babywise. She has failed to be up front and straight forward about her position on Babywise here in these comments. She leaves comments like the ones here as if she is so innocently trying to help people with Babywise, but Tulipgirl fails to mention that she is one of the most aggressive and outspoken critics of Babywise on the entire Internet. This is in my humble opinion based on observations of her tactics in recent years. Example Tulipgirl comment from another blog*:"Tulipgirl:Like you, I regret using Babywise, too. I know that mamas who use it are well-intentioned and love their babies, but it is such lousy, lousy advice and so often hurts the mom and baby." This is one very small example to Tulipgirl's underlying position on Babywise. It is a completely unfounded and unproven statement. The italics portion of this comment links to an article authored by Alexandra Bush (aka Tulipgirl) titled Confessions of a Failed Babywiser*. Don't take my word for who the person is behind the Tulipgirl disguise, just do a whois on her domain name. My point here it to make sure that Tulipgirl's comments are put into perspective. Please base your judgement of her advise on the context of her opinion of Babywise in general. Most folks come to blogs like this one to get encouragement and advice and do not wish to be deceived. The advise Tulipgirl gave here may have come from a Contact Mom at some point in history, but that information is somewhere between five and nine years old based on when her third son was born in 1999* and when she posted the article mentioned above in 2003*. The requirements to become a contact mom have been refined since then. Based on Tulipgirl's comments, there must have been some contact moms back in the day that were giving out advise that went against the principles taught in Babywise and Preperation for Parenting. That is unfortunate and should have been easily recognized by her given her self proclaimed experience with Babywise. Throwing out terms like "contact mom" and GFI camp does not automatically validate the information as being supported by the principles taught in Babywise. The eat/wake/eat/sleep advise given here by Tulipgirl is not endorsed by GFI.* Links to sources provided by email upon request.Hank Osborne (aka TheOzz)
    January 29, 2008 9:42 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Hank, Thanks for checking in and keeping us informed. It is nice to have someone watching over and making sure information stays accurate!
    January 30, 2008 6:58 PM

Reader Comments/Thanks/Success Stories:

  • Don and Denise Sullivan said...
    Very interesting post! My sister-in-law began using GKGW (same as BabyWise) after her 1st child was born. Her 4 kids are now ages 8-17 and they are living testimonies that the principles behind this work. Her children are not followers..they are leaders. They excel academically and artistically. They are respectful, thoughtful, able to follow instructions and yet make intelligent decisions for themselves. Their parents have always been a united front in parenting and the kids grew up with an equal amount of love and discipline. These kids were not forced into a mold. They were taught respect and boundaries and at the same time, their parents encouraged their individual personalities, talents and ideas. We are using the same techniques found in GKGW/Toddlerwise and we CONSTANTLY receive compliments on how well behaved he is in public. He is very independent and strong willed and we make an effort to allow his creative and individual mind to develop as he's growing while at the same time teaching him to respect boundaries and others. And it's not just the Babywise series that talk about this...Super Nanny has similar principles. I see too many parents who do not practice consistency or do not have a spouse who supports these concepts and too quickly give up. Then they wonder why it didn't work. I know MANY families who have told me that the Babywise techniques do work (both Christian and non-Christian).
    October 28, 2008 12:26 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Denise! Good examples.
    November 1, 2008 4:01 PM
  • The Traveling Turtle said...
    Thank you so much for this post! I am so tired of reading all the negative stuff out there about BW and was thrilled to find your blog! You are such a wonderful source of FOUNDED information and I really appreciate your advice. As a mom to an 8 month old BW baby, I can tell you that it WORKS if you want it to work (just as you stated). If you give up and throw in the towel after half heartedly trying it, then you will not have the outcome that many, many others do. Thank you again! I am so glad this is here for mom's like me to reference!
    October 28, 2008 6:04 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Traveling Turtle! It is good to hear good experiences from people.
    November 1, 2008 4:02 PM
  • Robinson Family said...
    All the negative comments about BW really hurts my heart! Not because of disagreeing with it, but the attitude of the statements. I used and am currently using all the GKGW books and our child is a DELIGHT! We constantly get comments on what a JOY he is, how laid back, and bright he is. On another note, if you don't like, don't use it! Simple! But don't belittle those that do or believe we're ill informed. The Ezzos are loving Christian mentors that are beautiful people. Hurtful comments are unjust.
    October 28, 2008 8:35 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Robinson Family, I agree. It is perfectly acceptable for people to not use Babywise and even to disagree with it. But to acuse parents of the aweful things they are acused of is simply baffling. It is so off the mark, that I can only shake my head.
    November 1, 2008 4:03 PM
  • Susan and Ethan Peterson said...
    Thank you for posting this. I too have been involved in a debate about BW, and am so happy to see this written words. THere is so much negative out there about it, and I just don't understand. My choice to follow BW is my husband and my personal choice. It has worked so wonderfully for our family. I couldn't ask for a better parenting style for us. I would never bash someone elses parenting style, which is why I can not understand why people feel the need o bash babywise. Check with your grandparents, they will tell you that having a baby on a schedule is an age old principal. It is sad that people feel the need to bash something they clearly do not understand. Keep up the great work!Susan
    October 28, 2008 9:21 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Susan! It is strange how much people like to bash BW. There are always people out there anxious to bash on things that they don't understand.
    November 3, 2008 11:17 AM
  • Julia said...
    wow! thanks for sharing that. All i have to say is that I'm sure ANY parenting style will work depending on the type of person/parent you are. For us, Babywise was a success! Our girl thrived, grew, is a GREAT sleeper and very well-behaved. I think your blog is a great resource for those of us out there that do use BW... and if you choose NOT to use BW or disagree with it, then find something else that works for you! No one is pushing their beliefs on anyone here... just offering advice and tips!
    October 28, 2008 9:32 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Yes Julia, so true.
    November 3, 2008 11:18 AM
  • Amanda said...
    Thanks for getting a post like this up here, it's nice to read some stuff in support of Babywise. I agree with Susan & Ethan Peterson, my MIL is the one who suggested the book to me and both she and everyone else in my & my husband's family sees it as common sense parenting very similar to the way they parented, even though it was not called anything in particular. In previous generations, it was simply called parenting.
    October 28, 2008 12:34 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Amanda, I agree. I find it to simply be common sense.
    November 3, 2008 11:18 AM
  • Lucie said...
    I second, third and fourth everything that has been said above. I CIO with my daughter (who is now 4.5) but was not a die hard follower of Babywise. When I was pregnant with my son, who is now 2 months, I decided early on that we were going to start Babywise from the get go. the principles I did follow worked so well for my daughter when she was started at 8 months-- who is now an extremely intelligent, articulate, child who sleeps through the night very independently, gets up and down to go potty by herself and then puts herself right back to sleep without even waking us up-- I knew if I started even earlier with my son the results should be even more maginified. My 2 month old is not sleeping through the night quite yet but is doing veyr well with Babywise. He is learning to self-soothe and is a happy, content, laid-back baby! We couldn't be happier!!!Thanks for the positive thoughtsand feedback of Babywise! I am now a true believer and follower!
    October 28, 2008 1:37 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Lucie, thanks for your comments. I agree with you; you can start BW at any time with success, but the earlier you start, the more magnified the benefits.
    November 3, 2008 11:20 AM
  • mommytoisabella said...
    I just got done reading "The Shaping of a Christian Family" by Elisabeth Elliot. I found many of the principles that her parents used in raising 6 Godly children were very similar to the principles that are written the "Wise" books. I agree to what the pp said "in previous generations, it was simply called parenting." Valerie, you are doing a wonderful job! Continue to stay strong in the midst of the criticism you may face at times. You are a "God Sent."
    October 28, 2008 1:49 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks MommytoIsabella!
    November 3, 2008 11:20 AM
  • Shawn said...
    Valerie,I appreciate your attempt to get information out and have dialogue. (I Think GKGW parents are some of the most intellectually honest people in the world) I would give a word of caution. Tuligirl is not interested in a "debate". She and the group that she runs with has a very specific agenda and that is to defame the Ezzo's. Her blog as well as her husband's blog leave intellectual critique in the dust and make fun of my friends personally (the Ezzo's) and questions their character. Just my two cents.Thanks for your blog my wife and I recommend it often, but to be quite honest we don't want to have to filter through the tulipgirl mis-truth's here too. Thanks Valerie!Shawn WoodProud Daddy of a GKGW almost 3 year old and a new BW on the way!
    October 28, 2008 7:15 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Shawn. Tulipgirl hasn't been around for quite some time; I think she is gone :)
    November 3, 2008 11:30 AM
  • Tim and Jamie Edwards said...
    My husband and I decided to do babywise when we saw how well behaved a friends 4 year old child was. We asked the 'secret' they led us to BW. We read up and it totally fit our personality. I needed help once my son was born to put the schedule into something practical and googled BW and found your blog. It has been HUGE help to me. I have recommended it to every parent who asks me BW questions. Thank you for helping those of us who do BW. I think there are a lot of great ways to parent a child and I choose not to bash their choices and am not sure why people with failed attempts at doing BW choose to bash those of us to use it. My son is 10 months old. He has slept through the night since 8 weeks. I have had many times of trouble shooting nap issues etc. With out baby wise I would have thought interrupted naps were normal. Baby wise helped me learn my child better. It helped me to better meet his needs. I have never had a problem with breastfeeding. People often ask what we do to make our son so happy. I know in part he has great genes that make him a calm baby, but also in part his needs have been met through the BW principles.Thanks for being an advocate
    October 28, 2008 8:25 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Jamie, Thanks for your success story!
    November 3, 2008 11:31 AM
  • Kristy said...
    I am so thankful for your wonderful blog. I am a true believer in BW and I have seen the positive results with close family members, friends and my own! It sounds to me as if tulipgirl is almost arguing with herself. She clearly doesn't understand that the CIO method only lasts for a few short weeks (if that)! And after that, you no longer have a crying baby! You have a happy, cheerful, smiling baby when you put them in their crib AND when you get them up! So, it seems the crying and cortisol theory doesn't stand true. My friends that didn't do BW, have WAY fussier babies than true BW babies. Love the blog! Keep posting! :)
    October 28, 2008 10:29 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Kristy!
    November 3, 2008 11:32 AM
  • Cathy said...
    I just wanted to take this opportunity to say "Thank you" for this blog. I have 4 BW kids, the youngest being 3 months old. Even this "experienced" mommy can use some encouragement!I wanted to weigh in on the cortisol issue. I do happen to believe in this theory (and I do acknowledge it is just a theory.) My first son was very busy and high-strung as a baby--still is for that matter. He was a very poor sleeper and cried a lot. Most of the time it was an "I can't wind down" type of cry, but occasionally it would escalate into a "this is really stressing me out" cry. If I let him cry long in this mode, the rest of his day was very messed up. Almost every cry went immediately to stress mode. It was a long day for all of us. I learned to quickly recognize when he was getting stressed and help to calm him down. I share this just to make the distinction that there is "crying" and "stressful crying." I believe stressful crying is really only present if baby's needs aren't being met (i.e. not being fed when hungry) or is in need of Mom or Dad's help, as in the case of our son. And I'm still a firm believer in the BW principles.
    October 29, 2008 7:46 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Cathy, Thanks for your thoughts. CIO is an interesting term because it means different things to different people. For BW babies, CIO doesn't mean you put baby in bed and he stays there to cry no matter what. It is parent directed, so a stressed-out cry definitely should be attended to by the parent.
    November 3, 2008 11:34 AM
  • Cindy Markovcy said...
    I just wanted to say that I have been using Babywise methods since my baby was 5 weeks old; I've found your blog VERY useful and I am so glad to see positive support for other BW moms. Thank you for sharing all that you do and making this a safe place to visit and get helpful answers!
    October 30, 2008 10:38 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Cindy! You are welcome!
    November 3, 2008 11:34 AM
  • Kristi said...
    I stumbled upon this blog just like I did the book. My good friend and I were pregnant at the same time, and she had On Becoming Babywise on her coffee table. I picked it up, started reading, and it seemed almost too good to be true. It was like I had written the first chapter myself, our parenting philosophies were so similar. Grateful to find a way to translate my philosophy into practice I read my friend's copy of Babywise in two days, and then got my own copy to refer to. After my twins were born I used BW the best I could. It was hard, especially with so many people around who wanted me to feed my babies every time they cried, not every time they were hungry. People couldn't believe I would wake up a sleeping baby to eat and that I would let a baby cry when going down for a nap.I admit that despite how perfectly BW fit with my parenting style, I was not fully committed. I only did things part way, and I didn't remember some of the important points. It just seemed too hard. When my boys were 4 weeks old, I reread a few chapters and was inspired to try a little harder. The magical dream of babies sleeping through the night seemed impossible, but I thought "it can't hurt, and the pay off would be huge for our whole family!" That's when I found your blog. Again it happened almost on accident. I was just searching for information on BW and there you were. I read a few posts on things I had been wondering, and I felt re-inspired. So I made a schedule and some goals for myself to stick to it, and we tried it for real.Now my twin boys are 9 weeks old. Just three nights ago they have started to sleep through the night (7 hours), although they haven't both done it on the same night. (I'm hoping that magic day is today). I am nursing my twins, and they are definitely thriving. They both weighed just over 5 pounds at birth, and they weighed in at about 11 pounds each at their 2 month check-up. They only get formula once a week at church because frankly we don't all three fit in the mother's room. Plus it is nice that they practice drinking from a bottle. I definitely have enough milk for both my babies. Our twins are also very happy babies.Everyone tells me I am lucky to have such great, easy babies. I do believe I am lucky. I was lucky that I read On Becoming Babywise. I was lucky that I stumbled on your blog. But my babies being "easy babies," I don't believe that is luck. I believe it is good parenting. We have worked so hard to help these precious babies have the best start they can, and I think that BW has given us confidence and sanity in a seemingly overwhelming situation. (Our twins were a surprise at our 20 week ultrasound).I'm not sure if BW is the only way to parent. I mean successful, happy people were raised before this book was written. These are our first (and second) babies, and we have not tried any other way. But my brother and sister-in-law just had their third baby a week after our twins were born. They are definitely attachment parenting believers, and they are demand feeding their little boy. He eats for less than 5 minutes about every half an hour, and he spends most of his day crying unless he is being held. He also won't sleep unless his mom is holding him. My brother tells me that "eventually all babies learn that they would rather be held all the time," and that he "feels bad for babies whose parents don't hold them." Contrast that with our twins. They sleep in their cribs, rarely cry, play and smile and coo, and they eat and nap on a flexible schedule. I do hold my babies. All the time. But I get to hold happy babies who play with me and not crying babies who can't be calmed. BW may not be the only way, but it has definitely worked for our family.I have been wanting to thank you for a while now for helping us and our babies. I am sure that I would have had a nervous breakdown from lack of sleep if I didn't have you and bw to help me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please keep writing.I also want to encourage those with twins and other multiples that this can work for you. It was hard. It's still hard. But I honestly can't imagine what I would do if I were trying to nurse two babies on demand.
    October 30, 2008 7:13 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for your story Kristi! I think BW would be essential to my sanity if I had twins :) I appreciate your success story.
    November 3, 2008 11:37 AM
  • MarthaStuart said...
    I just wanted to say "Thank You" for all your great work on this blog. It has helped me so much as I parent. My son is now 9 weeks old and we have used Babywise since birth. He is the happiest baby who goes down for naps without crying and slept through the night (9-9.5 hours) since 8 weeks old. My sister has three children (ages 3, 2, & 7months) and successfully implemented Babywise with all of her children.My husband and I actually are able to have time together. Thanks so much for your encouragement!
    November 1, 2008 4:43 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    MarthaStuart, Thanks! I am glad you have had success.
    November 3, 2008 11:39 AM

Schedule While Mom is Sick

This topic is on my mind as I start to slowly come out of the fog of first trimester life. There are going to be days when mom (or primary caretaker) is sick, whether from pregnancy or the flu. Sometimes you will simply get a nasty cold that really just takes your energy. So what do you do in these situations in regard to your schedule?

These are hard times for mom. These are the some of the times that really refine mom and cause that unconditional love for her children to grow and to help mom develop more charity. While it is just mom and the kid(s), mom doesn't get to rest much. Hopefully when Dad gets home, he gives mom a chance to rest. If mom is nursing a baby, though, chance for rest is less likely.

Last Spring I got a really bad flu. I remember fondly thinking back to the days of childhood when I was sick. I sat on the couch all day. I called to my mom when I needed something and she was right there. I didn't have to do anything. That just isn't the case when you are the mom. Mom still has children who depend on her and need her to do things for her. Mom can't take the day off and say, "Sorry, I'm sick."

It is important, however, for mom to take care of herself as best she can. You can't do much for your family if you are sick. You will take longer to get better if you don't get the rest you need. When you are pregnant, you have to watch for your health for you and for the benefit of the baby you are growing.

Luckily, there are many aspects to the Babywise schedule that make these situations easier for mom. The child(ren) has independent play. During this time, mom can sit or lay down and relax. Infants up through preschoolers will have at least one nap, giving mom more opportunity for rest. The older child who no longer needs a nap will have a rest time when mom can relax. If you have more than one child, your children also have sibling playtime to play with each other and give you a break.

However there are also many aspects of the Babywise schedule that can be hard to fulfill while mom is sick. For example, structured learning time for the preschooler can be hard for mom to fulfill if she is sick. This is something that has been neglected around our house while I have been sick. This pregnancy has been especially hard on me. I have been extremely sick with no relief and extremely tired. I am sure my fatigue is much compounded by the fact that I am caring for two young children. It has basically been a matter of survival for me.

Brayden has watched more TV than I would have preferred under normal circumstances. At least it was educational programming, but it is still television. He has been quite understanding of my need for rest, with great concern over my well-being and no complaints. Just last night my husband told Brayden they were going to leave to get new tires for one of our vehicles. Brayden responded, "No, I need to stay here in case Mommy gets sick and needs me" (isn't that such a typical dutiful oldest child remark?). My husband explained that I would be better able to rest if Brayden went with Daddy, so he happily agreed.

Kaitlyn hasn't had life too differently from usual. She isn't interested in TV yet, so she isn't getting any of that. She does love to cuddle and when I lay down when she is awake she is quick to come cuddle up to me and bring a book along for me to read to her. Since she still takes two naps, has independent play, sibling play, meals, and getting ready each day, her day is pretty full.

When you are sick and need to care for yourself, don't be afraid to take care of yourself as you need to. Brayden had about a month with more TV than usual. It wasn't even a TON of more TV , it was probably usually 30 minutes a day extra. But it is still more. He and Kaitlyn have spent more time in sibling play than would normally happen in a day. After this month, I was able to have enough energy to once again have structured learning time and other activities. He is perfectly fine. Yes, I felt guilty a lot during this period. I had to remind myself that it was a relatively short time. He would be fine. While I am definitely not up to par, I can spend energy during their waketimes and still rest as needed during naps and independent play.

The times you are sick are the times to employ flexibility. You can get back to normal soon enough if you take the needed time to rest. Try to not feel guilty. I know it is hard for most of us. Do what you can and ease up on what you can. Try to figure out where you can relax the structure. If your child is a big lover of independent play, you can extend it a bit longer. Is it sibling play? Let them play longer. You can always be flexible when needed.

See these posts for more on flexibility:

Baby Stuff I love: Art Time

image source
I don't consider myself to be artistic. I sew, scrapbook, make jewelry, etc. I can be creative if I do something for a while (I call them marathons), but I when it comes to drawing, painting, etc., I am not artistic. Despite that, I have some thoughts for art time activities. I am sure many of you have better ideas, so please share!

  • Fat Crayons: Crayola makes fat crayons that are easy for those little hands to grasp. They are also nice because the child can push hard with the crayon and not break it. Kid's First Larger Size Washable Crayons, 8 Color/Pack (BIN523280) Category: Crayons
  • Fat Paintbrushes: After the fat crayons, I found some fat paint brushes at JoAnn's.
  • Washable Paint: Brayden loves to paint. It about gives me a heart attack every time because I am OCD. He talks and moves his brush around, and while he has never made a mess, I have visions of paint everywhere. At least it is washable! I know, I need to chill out. I try to hide it. Our paint is Crayola brand. Crayola Washable Kid's Paint (6 count)
  • Blank Pad of Paper: We got Brayden an artists pad of white paper. I had looked at them at Michaels, but they were about $10. One day I found one at a dollar store. That is perfect for a young child. I have read it is good to have your child draw/color/paint/etc. on blank paper so he can be creative and not get discouraged by the lack of ability to stay in the lines.
  • Coloring Books: I still like coloring books. In the last month, Brayden has started to be able to color in the lines (3.25 years old). I think it is good for him now that he is interested to be able to practice the fine motor skills of staying in lines. Coloring Books
  • Foamies: These are foam pieces that are of different shapes. Brayden's are cars and trucks with street sign shapes. They have a sticky back. Brayden loves to play with these. Tub O' Foamies Cars/Trucks Sticky Back Shapes & A-B-C-1-2 Foamies & Foam Bucket Noahs Ark
  • Magnetic Sketch Board (Magnadoodle): I love these. They are absolutely perfect for my OCD self. I don't have to worry about anything getting messy when the kids are drawing on the magnadoodle. We also have small travel magnadoodles which are good for car rides and places like church. They keep the kids quiet and they have no chance of writing on something while not supervised (in car) or on something important (at church). Maga Doodle
  • Play Doh': This is always fun. Play Doh
  • Sidewalk Chalk: This is fun for outside. Sidewalk Chalk
There are my ideas. Share the fun art ideas you have for kids!
Reader Advice:
  • Tracy said...
    Our parent educator with Parents as Teachers recommended Write Start colored pencils from Crayola. They are fat colored pencils that will work great for my 15 mo. old DS. He always likes to chew on crayons so this will prevent wax in his teeth! :o)
    October 23, 2008 7:17 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Tracy, Great tip! My daughter is also a crayon chewer. She is getting better, but I will have to look into those.
    November 10, 2008 3:41 PM
  • Rachel Stella said...
    I also love the coloring books where you just use a paint brush with water on it. No mess but water!
    November 6, 2008 9:34 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Oh yes Rachel! I love those too! Great for OCD me! I have had a hard time finding them, though. Where do you get them? (I might just be blind ;) ).
    November 10, 2008 3:42 PM
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Time Change with Older Children

While most parents with older children have probably realized what the time change is like with an older child, I thought a post might be helpful for those who like to look ahead and for future time changes.

The time change with an older child is a lot easier than it is with a baby. Your baby's first time change will be the hardest, and the Fall time change is much harder than the Spring time change. If you are approaching your first time change or a time change with a baby younger than 12 months, be aware that it will be harder now than it is in the future.

For my kids this fall, our transition has been really easy. This is what I have done:
  • In the morning, they naturally were waking up at their normal time. I slowly pushed back the time I got them up. They are old enough that they will sit and entertain themselves in their beds until I get them (Brayden is close to 3.5 and Kaitlyn is 18 months). 1.5 weeks before the time change, we are 45 minutes past our normal waketime.
  • After that, I pretty much keep the schedule the same. There have been a couple of days this week Kaitlyn has gotten down for her morning nap 15 minutes later than normal simply because we have to get our normal things in the morning. Bedtime stays the same, afternoon naps stay the same, etc. Once the time change actually happens (or perhaps as it gets closer), I will change the other items all at once.

Older children are much more flexible than babies, so you can change things more at your convenience. I want them sleeping until the right time at the time change, but I don't mind working with lunch, dinner, naps, and bedtime after the time change.

Take note that while Kaitlyn is this flexible at 18 months, Brayden wasn't. He was more flexible than he was as a baby, but not this flexible. Do what works for your individual child and family.

Pooping on the Potty II

Brayden had a hard time learning to poop on the potty at first. Once we got it figured out, I created a post with pooping tips (see Pooping in the Potty : Now, several months later, I have more thoughts on the topic.

We easily moved away from rewards for pooping and peeing. It wasn't something we had to systematically work at, it just sort of happened without protest from Brayden. While we trained him on a small potty chair his size (he did much better with that; I think it was because it was less intimidating and he could relax on it rather than try to keep his balance), he soon wanted to go on the big potty. He often, however, still pooped on his small potty.

As I am really queasy right now, I didn't love dumping poop out of the small potty and cleaning it up each day. It is better than changing a poopy diaper, but still a bit too much for me. I decided to encourage him to poop on the big potty instead of the little potty. I told him it was okay to poop in the little potty if he wanted or needed to, but if he pooped in the big potty he would get treats for it.

Since that day, he has always pooped in the big potty and not his little one. However, some days he goes every other day between pooping. He usually goes every day. As he is getting used to something new with the potty, he reverts back to pooping other day. Then, as he becomes more comfortable with the situation, he gets on a consistent and regular schedule.

If your child has (or had) difficulty pooping on the potty, be prepared for similar set backs when you change things up. When you travel, see what you can do to keep things consistent for him. If he always goes in a potty chair, take it along if you can. If/when you change a situation at home, expect some set backs but he should bounce back faster than he got there in the first place.

See these posts for our potty training journey:

Poll Results: What was the average length of naps for baby ages 3-4 weeks? (approximate)


45 minutes: 15 votes (11%)
1 hour: 10 votes (7%)
1 hour 15 minutes: 10 votes (7%)
1 hour 30 minutes: 22 votes (16%)
1 hour 45 minutes: 9 votes (7%)
2 hours: 32 votes (24%)
2 hours +--baby still wanted to sleep all day: 36 votes (27%)

Total of 134 votes
(I again added my vote after polls closed--I added it for Brayden)

Birth Order: First Borns

Nearly everyone reading this has a first born. For many of you, your first born will become the "oldest" of the family. For others, your first born will become an "only." Only children will be covered in a future post. Keep in mind that there are also "functional" first borns. For example, in our family we have Brayden who is our first born. We also have Kaitlyn who is a functional first born in that she is the oldest girl, so she will display many oldest qualities, especially when the third child comes and she is no longer in that "youngest" slot.

Being a first born has a lot of impact on the personality of the child. Traits of a first born includes perfectionist, reliable, conscientious, list maker, well organized, hard driving, scholarly, natural leader, conservative, self-sacrificing, self-reliant, exacting, precise, picky, critical, serious, scholarly, logical, doesn't like surprises, loves computers, serious, goal oriented, achieving, people pleasers, and believers in authority.

First borns often grow up to be in powerful positions, from CEO to American president. Those who don't go for the spotlight position often go for meticulous positions such as accountants and editors. I, myself, am a first born and my degree is in English with an emphasis on Technical Writing.

This high-achieving often comes at a price. Bodies break down and/or personal relationships suffer. Sadly, "The very traits and abilities that enable you to succeed at work, at church, or in other organizations will often work against you in your close personal relationships" (The Birth Order Book, page 85).

So what makes first borns the way they are? You do. The parents. Mom and Dad have a huge affect on the traits a first born displays and just how that first born reacts to life as a first born. For one thing, with our first born, it is our first time being a parent. I read a book a few years ago (I can't remember what book now) that pointed out a first born has been a child as long as the parent has been a parent. In many ways we are on even ground. We often have no clue what we are doing at first. We don't realize problems we have created until they are real problems.

Another affect we as parents have on our first borns is that we put so much importance on the child. We often overdo stuff with the first one. Preparations for the baby. Waiting with anxious breath for those first steps. First birthday party. Most first borns have more video time and more photos than the later siblings. All of this attention encourages the first born to achieve.

First borns usually spend a lot of time with grown ups. This was true of me and also true of Brayden. Both of us are the oldest child and the oldest grandchild on our mother's side. This abundant time with adults shows the first born to behave like adults.

With all of this attention comes pressure. The oldest isn't supposed to act up and will get in trouble for doing the same thing younger children are doing because he "knows better" or "should set the example." Oldest children watch the younger siblings get away with things the oldest couldn't have even thought about without punishment. First borns get the most discipline and also the most work. Chores are loaded on the first born more than the younger children. What the oldest did at 5 wouldn't even be considered for the youngest at 5 in many cases.

I will write more on parenting first borns later, but for now, I have a few thoughts. One, if you are not a first born, realize these things are very real for a first born. I remember feeling so much pressure as a child. It isn't because my parents placed pressure on me. There was some, and I certainly heard the "you know better" talks, but not as much as I felt. The first born child places enough pressure on himself. He doesn't need more from you. Encouraging your first born will often pay off most. The extra pressure from you is not necessary.

If you are a first born, watch yourself. As a first born, I am very aware of myself and the way I treat Brayden. I know I carry traits of being precise, demanding, and critical. I have little patience for deliberate braking of rules. I am ever-conscious of how I talk to Brayden. The opposite gender parent has the most effect on the self-esteem of the child. I must be careful to know Brayden and treat him the way he needs to be treated. I was fortunate in that my father (opposite gender) was the baby of his 7 child family. He is extremely easy going. My best was always good enough. I only remember him being mad at me two times in my life. I was hard enough on myself that if my father had been demanding and exacting, I might have gone off the deep end.

Another small note, oldest don't like surprises. Note that. Brayden does so much better when he has warning of a change about to come up. Be sure you give your oldest 5 minute warnings when an activity is about to change.

Also, take note of the logical side of oldest children. Oldest children want to know the reason for things. If he can't climb the tree, he wants to know why. Saying, "Because I said so" is one of the most frustrating things for an oldest to hear. We are happy to comply with rules, but we want to know the reason. Knowing the reason helps us accept the rule.

If you are not a first born, you most likely won't understand many things about a first born. But take note of the traits listed above. It can help you to understand your oldest child better.

Related Posts:

Reader Comments/Thanks/Questions:

  • Don and Denise Sullivan said...
    Thanks for this post! I've read that book but it's been a long time. My husband and I are both first-borns and we often find ourselves expecting way too much of our son and being too hard on him. At the same time, we try not to be too overprotective. Our parents were like that with us as well as being very critical. They expected a lot too and forget about questioning or asking "Why?" I remember constantly feeling pressure as well. We are trying to do things differently with our son but it's easy to forget.
    October 17, 2008 4:16 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Denise, it is very easy to forget. My husband is a functional first born, as the oldest boy, and we both struggle with expecting too much of our oldest.
    October 21, 2008 11:47 AM
  • Lori said...
    Wow! That is so me! I've never read the book, but I think I might need to. I also have a first born (and only) son and he gets SO much attention...but it all makes sense now. My husband is an only child, so I'm anxious to read your future post on that type. Thanks!
    October 17, 2008 6:22 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Lori, it is a very intersting book. Only children are pretty similar to oldest--they are kind of a "super-charged" oldest ;)
    October 21, 2008 11:48 AM
  • Christie said...
    Great post, I am a first born and my husband is an only child, so these characteristics describe us well. I was wondering if you could possibly do a post in the future on behavior out in public, and tips you would have in places such as the grocery store and dining out...sometimes my little girl is so unpredictable in these places! thanks!
    October 17, 2008 7:12 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Christie, I will! I will add it to my list.
    October 21, 2008 11:49 AM
  • Homestic Affairs said...
    Funny, my husband is 2nd born of two. He has an older sister and other than not being a very strong authority figure, the rest fits him perfectly.

    You never mention 1st borns being detached emotionally from the family. Both of our sisters(first borns)are very detached from family and other relationships. They tend not to maintain close friendships. I wonder why? Also, I think ALL kids hate the "because I said so". I'm the middle of 3 girls and that answer would drive me crazy. Plus, the Ezzos stress how important it is to give every child the "moral reason" as an answer to build those morals up in their hearts to access later.

    Thanks for the post. I can wait to here more about birth order. It's fascinating.
    October 18, 2008 11:34 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Homestic Affairs, I don't think emotional detachment is normal for first borns. I have never read that and I am definitely not that way. In fact, most first borns settle down within a few miles of where they grew up. I would guess that your sisters are just coincidentally the same in that area. First borns aren't as good at close relationships because they are so "in-charge" and "on-task." Like the post says, the qualities that make them awesome in the workplace can make for difficult interpersonal relationships. Perhaps your sisters haven't been able to figure out how to work with that. Or they haven't found friends willing to work with that. Birth order is so interesting.
    October 22, 2008 12:07 PM
  • Amanda said...
    Great topic for a post. I read The Birth Order Book in high school and I've found it to be very accurate. My husband and I are both firstborns and it helps to be reminded that our own personality as firstborns could present problems in relating to our son. I agree completely with the firstborn description, for myself and my husband. To "homestic affairs" post, I don't think firstborns are emotionally detached but I know in many instances they are given too much responsibility for their younger siblings when growing up and so relish the freedom from that responsibility when they move away from home. Also, being driven and self-reliant can result in a very independent nature. It doesn't mean we don't love our families, it just means we like to live our lives without too much input from the family because it can be overwhelming since we take criticism way too seriously. Not sure if that's true for everyone, but that's what I've seen in all my friends who're firstborns.
    October 20, 2008 5:54 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Amanda, good points! First borns are very independent.
    October 22, 2008 12:18 PM