Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #132: Self-soothing bullshit

All the ‘experts’ say that babies need to learn to ‘self-soothe’ themselves to sleep. We’ve had sleep problems with my son, and everyone in the world says to let him cry it out, because “eventually he’ll learn”. Yes, it’s true that eventually he will learn that when he cries, mama won’t come running. But let’s break that down a bit. If he was an older child, and he was crying at night because he’s afraid of going to sleep by himself, it wouldn’t be right to leave him alone to figure it out. If he was an adult, and he was crying, shouldn’t we all take notice?

But somehow because he’s a baby (now a toddler), the world feels that I should let him cry. Well, I think that is disgusting. And I cannot help but think of all the nights I cried because I was afraid to go to sleep by myself too.

Yesterday, I read this article by Roland Summit called “The Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome”, and one of the lines in there really struck me. It said something like “Bed covers take on magical properties against intruders”. That is just so fucking true. I have always used my bed covers as though they could protect me from the kind of shit that had happened to me.

I never did learn to self-soothe. This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

4 Comments so far
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I don’t think I agree with self-soothing in the ‘let them cry it out’ school of thought, but I have a lot of respect for ‘self-mothering’ which I think is far more effective. If I didn’t ‘self-soothe’ by mothering myself in ways I wasn’t before, rocking and cuddling and reminding myself that I’m safe, I don’t think I’d be able to cope. Obviously this doesn’t apply to babies, but maybe teaching a toddler how to deep breathe, or to hum along with soothing music might be a more positive form of self-soothing. What do you think?

Comment by sworddancewarrior

You know, I really hadn’t thought of it that way. It’s so weird, isn’t it? The ‘experts’ make ‘self-soothing’ into this terribly negative cry it out experience, when really the word soothing means nothing of the sort. I agree with your positive approach.

Comment by butterflysblog

Hi Butterfly,

I heard this one person say that a baby should not cry more than 90 seconds without comforting. I agree with that. This cry it out shit is abuse and neglect. It was not around fifty years ago, forty, thirty, twenty, etc. I don’t know when it happened but a mother told me that crap recently and I was so mad. How dare mothers believe that. How dare someone tell mothers that.

Self-soothe is not about crying and terror and needing food and changing. Self-soothe is for when a child is a little older. It is not for babies for cripes sake. When the experts say crap it is okay to ignore them.

Good and healing thoughts to you.


Comment by kate1975

[…] Her reaction made me feel ashamed though.  The thing is, we were ready to move him to his own room a long time ago.  But he would scream and cry for hours, and I just didn’t feel right about it.  I remember all too well what it was like to cry myself to sleep, and I don’t want my son to have that memory too.  Plus, I think we all know how I feel about cry-it-out bullshit. […]

Pingback by Reason #148: Arguing with the therapist « Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

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