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Unprepared for Parenting (Ezzos, Pearls, Etc.) *Public* Support and information for those affected by the Ezzos, the Pearls, and other punitive and adversarial methods of child-rearing.
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default "Unprepared for Parenting" Resources

If you have any resources that are either helpful when "de-Ezzoing" and/or leaving behind punitive parenting or that contain sample letters to friends/pastors about Ezzo/Tripp/Pearl and other punitive parenting, please share them in this thread.

Below I am going copy and paste the resources that have been posted up to this date.

Also, there are more resources listed here:

Resources about Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo
The Ezzos' head the religious organization called Growing Families International (GFI). -- A remarkable collection of articles and personal stories having to do with "ezzoing."

A blog post by kris10s with links and info about Gary Ezzo and Babywise.

Gary Ezzo and Babywise

This post was inspired by a comment on a previous post.

I do know that there are godly and loving parents who choose to use the Babywise program, but there have been major concerns raised that have been well-documented at the website.

Concerns about Gary Ezzo himself
He has been under church discipline multiple times, and is currently excommunicated from an evangelical church in California, which he attended before moving to the east coast. He has been caught in habitual lies about a wide variety of things, including inventing degrees he did not earn (including GPAs!) for a job application and to publishers. All of this occured since his parenting ministry began. In his writings, Gary Ezzo lists one of his creditials as being "a successful parent" but the first word he used to describe his relationship with his children was cordial, and his son-in-law embezzled $500,000 from his company while employed there. In 2001, Multnomah, the former publisher, dropped Ezzo's very lucrative books over concerns about medical misinformation and Ezzo's character. Many prominent evangelical Christians have publically stated concerns about Ezzo and the Babywise material including Dr. James Dobson, Dr. John McArthur, Dr. Philip Ryken and Tedd Tripp.

Beyond all of this, Gary Ezzo has no medical background whatsoever (no undergraduate degree and a master's degree in ministry from a program designed for non-college graduates already active in ministry work.) Growing Families International, the Ezzo's company, has claimed that Anne Marie Ezzo has a pediatric nursing background, but no coursework or degrees have ever been cited. Babywise is a secularized version of Ezzo's Christian Preperation for Parenting material (now retitled Along the Infant Way). This was in it's third edition before the first edition of Babywise was published, and the medical content is virtually the same, so Dr. Bucknam is NOT a true co-author, but merely a name slapped on to add credibility to the Babywise program.

Concerns about Babywise
There have been numerous revisions and new editions of Babywise (P4P, etc.) in the past eighteen years they have been distributed. Almost one per year. Why all the changes if the materials are so good and Ezzo claims that the message behind them has remained the same? Because the books have been linked to dehydration and failure to thrive in infants and the American Academy of Pediatrics has come out against Ezzo and pointed out that his feeding schedules do not meet their guidelines for breastfeeding. Here is a comparison of the AAP infant care advice to Babywise. So, he's changed his tune, shortening the minimum time between feedings listed in his books, etc. But a good deal of the core concerns the AAP have raised have remained the same throught all the changes.

Numerous news reports and individual testimonies have shown the medical problems intelligent and devoted families have encountered because of using Babywise. Here are more testimonials.

Having read most of Babywise (the latest edition, it was given to me), a big concern for me is the Attachment Parenting strawman and misinformation he provides about other parenting philosophies. Over and over again in the book he talks about how every cry doesn't mean that a baby is hungry and how demand feeders just put the baby to the breast for any cry. I know LOTS of moms who demand feed, and no one does that. He has the parallel between the cousins, Marisa and Chelsea. Chelsea is parented by Babywise and is basically perfect. Marisa is APed and is basically a terror -- can't be put down, can't be left, wakes up all night, etc. My 8.5 month old has never had any seperation anxiety and loves to be babysat because she is a people person. The three children I have seen firsthand this year with severe seperation anxiety were all Babywised and scream the entire time their mothers are out of the room. There is no parenting philosophy with guarantees about personality and all of the other factors! I carry my daughter around in a sling all the time, we have co-slept and put our daughter in a crib and car seat to sleep, she night-weaned on her own and sleeps through the night (12 hours+) when she's not teething. She started sleeping 5-6 hours before three months, without any crib-crying. Several Babywise mothers I know assumed that I babywised because my child is so happy and sleeps through the night, because they thought un-babywised babies didn't do that. Seriously. And that's just silly. Children were happy and well-adjusted for millenia before Gary Ezzo was born.

Gary Ezzo has said some pretty crazy stuff. In regards to letting children cry themselves to sleep, the Ezzos say, "God is not sitting on His throne waiting to jump up at our every cry, trying to prove that He loves us." They cite Christ crying out to the father in Matthew 27:46: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" as proof of this. What sort of a parallel is that? See this series on things Ezzo says for more crazy quotes: 1, 2, 3, 4.

My philosophy of parenting an infant is that I am serving my child in a Christ-like fashion. She is one of the least of these, small and frail, helpless and dependent. I don't manage her, I serve her as a fellow human being and a sister in Christ through baptism. Sometimes that means that if she is bothered by teething pain, I have to get out of bed to comfort her. Sometimes that means that I need to feed her because she's hungry, even if I just fed her two hours ago and have a whole list of chores to do.

But, there is freedom in Christ as far as parenting philosophies go, and if knowing all of this about Gary Ezzo and Babywise you still chose to follow his advice, that's your choice and I respect that. I do think it is important for Christians to know the rest of the story about Gary Ezzo before they chose to use his books.
These are pages from fourbzboysmom's website: -- fourbzboysmom says,"This page in particular has helped moms I have worked with move from a schedule mindset to understanding cue feeding better and move towards cue feeding without fear. I've had many moms tell me it was a 'bridge' for them since they feared the chaos that Babywise tells them is sure to come to them if they don't feed the BW way."

MarynMunchkins' letter for churches offering GKGW classes.

Dear Pastor ___,

My husband and I have been attending your church for a couple months now since we moved to Charlotte. We’ve really been impressed by the music and quality of work put into the service, and the sermons that have been preached. The preschool ministry has been wonderful, and I love how responsive the workers are to the children when they are upset and in need.

I noticed today, however, something that concerned me. I see that ___ is offering a Growing Kids God’s Way class by Gary Ezzo. I don’t know if you’re aware of the controversy surrounding him and his materials, but I firmly believe that they have no place being taught in the church. His materials have been found to be dangerous to infants, inaccurate, and often, completely false. He has proven to be unresponsive to the discipline of the church, and asked to leave more then one. I feel that his interpretation of Scripture is twisted and inaccurate, and leads to well-meaning parents bringing their children to harm. Growing Kids God’s Way doesn’t accurately reflect the character of God to children.

I was first introduced to this program when I was only 14 and baby-sitting for one of the contact moms for Growing Families International (GFI). This is the new name for the Ezzo organization, and you can view their website at . These were wonderful kids that I dearly loved and enjoyed. When I became pregnant with my oldest, this mother gave me a copy of On Becoming Babywise as a shower gift. I read the book, and it seemed to make sense to me. I used it with my oldest, and I can honestly say that it was a huge mistake. I regret it to this day.

Gary Ezzo’s basic premise for infants is that they need to be taught how to fit into the lifestyle of the parents. He advocates scheduled feedings and leaving a child alone to cry in order that he will fall asleep. His feeding schedule suggested in the book is horrible for breast-feeding mothers, and has been known to cause failure to thrive in infants. FTT is a medical condition characterized by a lack of growth, both in weight and height, in the most crucial years of a child’s development. ( have personally talked to mothers who followed the Ezzo program, and had their children suffer from FTT. As soon as they dropped the schedule, their children began to gain weight and thrive. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics has released several statements speaking against scheduled feedings, and promotes feeding upon demand. ( In addition, the practice of leaving a child alone to cry causes an increase in cortisol, a stress hormone, in the child. It elevates to the same level as that of a stroke patient. (

His materials get no better as they progress for older children. Gary Ezzo’s teachings are unnecessarily adversarial and controlling of children, and do little to teach independence and self-control. There are many Christian leaders with grave concerns about GKGW, including Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family. You can see their comments at Not only do the health risks to infants cause concern, but also the age-inappropriateness of his advice and the manipulation of Scripture. Dr. Kent McClain addresses these concerns at

Beyond the simple controversy surrounding his materials, there is a concern about how Gary Ezzo responds to the controversy. He shrugs off the concerns, and claims to be persecuted because he is a Christian. He has been excommunicated from one church for failure to respond to church discipline (, and asked to leave others. (, Members of his former staff now speak out against him.

There is an entire website devoted to speaking out against the Ezzo’s and their teachings. It is, and it tells of the many, many problems and concerns from Christians, non-Christians, parents, doctors, and teachers. There’s also a section from people who used to use his materials who now speak out against him.

To be honest, I was rather surprised when I saw that ___ was offering this class. The messages I’ve heard from the pulpit, particularly from the parenting series, seemed to directly contradict Gary Ezzo in many ways. The grace, compassion, and understanding I see within the church doesn’t seem to fit with the GKGW materials.

I’m writing to ask the church to strongly reconsider teaching this material. There are many, many Christian authors and parents with much to offer, and I would love to see some of those things taught in the church. In fact, I’m more then willing to help organize and teach a parenting class if necessary.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration on this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I appreciate your help.

Last edited by flowermama; 11-30-2011 at 11:59 AM.
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