Not Another Cry it out Debate

I work for two families (part time, equaling FT). One who used the cry it out method to sleep train and another who took the time the daughter needed training and used substitutes for comfort (paci, blanket, favorite toy, holding them less time each day).

As time has gone on I'm seeing the developmental differences in both children. For the sake of this post I'll call cry it out child Carlie and other child Patience. Carlie is easily frustrated and whines and cries easily. Her face at times seems lost like she doesn't know what she needs or what to expect. Patience seems to evaluate situations more and cries with a specific goal (even if at times its for cuddles when I'm occupied). Patience overall deals with her emotions better and seems to understand the relationship between her and her caregivers more. I've learned through my time with them that though both families have social calendars Carlie doesn't get the quiet time that she needs. I think she's often stimulated and redirected. Imagine the tablet parents who always give their children something to hold them over.

What I'm leading to is, I don't agree with their parenting style or textbook guidelines. A lot of their methods are brash and don't take into account the child's needs or where she is developmentally. They compare her to where younger/older children are (ie does the younger friend have x number of teeth, can she eat bigger pieces of food, does she walk-yet Carlie is older she should be ahead of that). As a caregiver I in no way shape or form agree with these methods. I used to be a cry it out believer but since seeing first hand the differences I have to admit I've entirely changed my way. It's difficult for me to continue in this job knowing there's little focus on building a loving trusting relationship and all focus on textbook goals.

Has anyone here ever left a family for similar reasons? In the past I've disagreed with parents but never to this point where I just don't want to be a part of it and my professional advice is in no way solicited by them, in fact, they'd probably roll their eyes.

In a perfect world they'd see my point but I don't even know where to begin that convo.


Anonymous said...

This has absolutely nothing to do with crying it out. It seems that the parents are making other questionable choices in how they raise their child, or maybe Carlie is just a miserable kid. As a nanny, you would be the first to know you can't compare two kids like that -- apples and oranges. Temperament and genetics play into this, too.

melissa said...

I agree with anonymous. There's so much else that goes into a child's temperament than just one thing. I nannied for 10 years for families that believed in CIO, who believed in holding babies the entire time and never letting them cry, and families who were in between (allowing some crying but assessing the needs of the child). I've realized over time that it is like comparing apples and oranges. The parenting styles are so different among each family, and that plays a huge role as well as so many other factors. If you're not comfortable with their style, I don't think it's wrong to leave. I nannied for a family who's parenting style went against everything I believe and I found it was best for me to leave (but that was also because I found I was growing resentful towards the children as well, and it's not their fault). Anyway, leave if you need to, but don't chalk it all up to the cry it out method.

Anonymous said...

I do use the cry it out method multiple times when it's time for bed and that the toddler or child throws a tantrum. Much less for babies because it's important to be extremely careful with them as they are more things to look out for when they cry, especially new borns.It tend to work in most cases although there are some exceptions where only another approach will work. It depends on the child really.

I also agree with not letting a child being addicted to a blanket or teddy bear to the point that they must have it at all time. While she doesn't have it, she gets all the comfort and cuddles in the world with her parents, her sister and myself.

What I do with my charge is that when I get her out of bed she says bye to her teddy bear, give him a kiss and say that she will see him later. Occasionally when she is really upset , I'll give it to her for awhile to comfort her.

It looks like you are not the right fit for this family and indeed a permissive one would be a better match for you.

Kim said...

Agreed! None of what you write has anything to do with CIO! If you disagree with cio, have the ovaries to say so! Parents make different parenting decisions based on what's best for their family. If your beliefs are different, find a family with whom you agree, but don't try to piggyback one issue on another.

A class or ten in Childhood Development would benefit you. If you've taken them consider brushing up on your lessons because most of you mention doesn't take into account temperament and environmental factors.

People- and by default little kids- react differently to different stressors. CIO doesn't have the effect that you're mentioning. Again, if you're really against it, find a family who shares you belief.

Anonymous said...

OMG I can't work for that type of family! They don't realise the consequences when their give in to all of their kids cry/tantrums and it backfires big time when those are teenagers and then they think (what have We done wrong?) and don't realise it's the result of them not raising them properly.

If a family is too permissive and want me to treat their children like kings and queens to the point that a 2 year old is the boss of me, I run down the hills to never return. I just can't put up with that.

Of course I am SUPER affectionate and will always treat my charges like family but I am in charge and I make the rules, not the other way round.

This family is not the right match for her. She has to go to a family similar to what you've been working for.

Anonymous said...

FACT: Babies that do CIO crave FIRE and are 200 times more likely to be murderers
FACT: babies who are not subjected to this cruel treatment are universally well adjusted productive members of society

Just kidding.

You're judgmental and clearly not a good fit for this family.


Marie said...

I agree with these comments from Kim and Melissa.

I think you would benefit from a class in childhood development. Have you every heard the term: "Correlation does not imply causation" - this is a perfect example.

Cry-it-out has nothing to do with what is going on.

If you feel like you are not a good fit for the family, then you should move on.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with everyone else. It's not the crying it out that is causing the difference. I have twins and did cry it out with both. They have different personalities similar to the two you have described, yet cry it out was done with both of them at the same time. That can not be the only problem.

Nanny said...

HA! I know, right? And CIO babies all grow up to be serial killers ; ))

melissa said...

Ha!!! For a split second I thought this was serious and I was prepared to fight!

Anonymous said...

Haha me too ! Although believe it or not , there are a fair amount of families that consider the cry it out method as child neglect or child abuse!

Me! said...

It's rare to see an ISYN post where everyone thinks the op is ridiculous! So funny.

Op said...

I see what many of you are saying in regards to the different factors that contribute to a child's behavior and temperament. I'll add that I would have seen it without your rudeness as well. I'm often shocked by how easily everyone's blood is boiled on this site like woah hopefully your small reserve of compassion is going to your charges clearly you have none left for anyone else.

I didn't want to write an essay so no I didn't list other things they do that have led to the way he is now. I've watched him since he was 5 weeks and have seen the neglect that comes from their parenting style. Day in and day out im stressed because as much as I want to help him self regulate they undo my work every weekend and every monthly vacation. There's no stability in this family or constant.

I know im not a fit for them and neither are they for me. What I hoped in submitting this was for someone to share how they explained leaving the family or hopefully hear if anyone has found ways to make this work.

Anonymous said...

Responding to a child's needs through care and affection is crazy. Don't do that!!!

Jean said...

Rudeness or not, this is the internet. There isn't really a whole lot of hand holding from what I've seen.

These other mitigating factors still don't change my opinion. CIO =/= neglect. Parents who are negligent should be reported. If you feel they are hurting their child, report them. If you disagree with their parenting style, quit.

I find that some things are amazingly simple and don't require a lot of angst and nail biting. A good fit with a family is important. If you're finding yourself in a untenable situation, give proper notice and leave. No harm done.,

But expecting to be coddled and to be treated with kid gloves on the internet is unrealistic. Someone being blunt and direct with you here doesn't make him/her unkind with his/her charges.

SMDH said...

Yes. Because CIO means you're unresponsive and uncaring about your child. No parents ever loved their children. CIO parents should go to prison

[/sarcasm ]

Anonymous said...

Of course care and affection are essential , this is not our point ! I am an incredibly affectionate nanny and really love the children I look after.

If they cry because they fell and hurt themselves, because they are sad, afraid , OF COURSE I am going to comfort them, hold them, cuddle them and make sure they are ok!!!

HOWEVER if this is a tantrum I am dealing with or crocodile tears,I put them back in the right place and use the CIO if and when necessary .

It's about teaching them to express themselves calmly. Through speaking NOT screaming.

As an adult , if I go to someone I don't know and scream if I don't get what I want will I be well received? NOPE

If I hurt myself and cry as a result of that , then of course most people will understand and will do their best to help me.

THIS IS WHERE EDUCATION START. From when they are small, teaching then the right way of expressing ourselves as human being.

Yet so many parents fail to see that, give in to ABSOLUTELY any demands they children have, go through multiple nannies and once the kids are out of control as teenagers act like: what have we done for them to turn like that? Some hypocrite one will even turn the blame to someone else because they aren't able to face the reality that THEY didn't raise their children properly.

When having children , it's about preparing them to life and teaching them how to succeed as well as be independent. It's about teaching them to be and stay strong. If a child always have what he want and reach adulthood , meet people that SAY NO to them . It could get really ugly as a result of a failed education.

Anonymous said...

Cry it out method because I don't give in to a child's tantrum when I put him to bed for exemple is NOT child abuse.

You can say it's not your style , but calling it child abuse is not appropriate.

If you let a child cry it out because he injured himself and is being ignored even if there is really something happening to him. Then YES that is child abuse and need to be reported.

It's about putting things in the right context.

If I don't want to raise an entitled brat and want to teach my child to abide by the household rules. That is NOT child abuse, that's called EDUCATION.

RBTC said...

OP - your post is completely reasonable and name calling from people who teach children is just a really interesting aspect of this blog - i don't get it either, and i agree that it's rude, but look past the name calling and you will find some good gems of advice

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'll bite. You came here to share this story for advice on how to have this conversation about leaving the family or to see if anyone could work this out with their family and not to validate your own opinions about how this family should choose to parent.

1. How to have this conversation about leaving: If you want to leave on a sour note, tell them (even very gently) that you're leaving because you feel that you have philosophical differences in raising children. This will offend them and make them think you're a jerk because frankly, people don't want to hear other people's opinions on their chosen parenting philosophies (and those who do seek those opinions out). Also, your entire attitude about this is that the way they do things is wrong. Not different. Not "doesn't work for me". Wrong. You imply that it's what makes their child difficult. That might be true and it might not. Some kids would do just fine in the environment you describe. Some kids will behave how your charge does regardless. My genuine advice here: make up an excuse for leaving, give them plenty of notice, and next time you are hired discuss parenting philosophies prior to hire (although to be honest these can change. I was anti-CIO until I had a child who woke at least 6 times per night, then I reconsidered...)

2. Can you make this situation work out? Absolutely not. You're not shrugging your shoulders and saying "it's not how I'd do it but whatevs". You're judging them and your meta message in your post is that you think they are disorganized, chaotic, and not great parents. Maybe they are. Or maybe they're stressed. Or maybe they just have very different personalities. I have no idea. But you judge them and that doesn't make a good working relationship.

Good luck on finding families you match with better.


Anonymous said...

CIO is a disturbing throwback to a time when children were a hinderance to grown ups having time to themselves. It's been proven to be a horrid method. It is only a heartless, selfish parent who could ever do this to any child.

Anonymous said...

I think nowadays , we went to another extreme. To the point that even saying no to a child and stay by it weither he cries or not is considered child abuse by some.

For exemple in the past people phisically correcting their children was considered normal , even at school. As a child, I witnessed this.

Do I consider that normal and would I do it myself ? No.

However. Don't call someone that let a child cry because of a tantrum heartless and selfish.

There is a difference between letting a child cry for a genuine matter which then I wouldn't agree with AND a child cry because he doesn't want to go to bed, doesn't want to stop hitting his sibling or other things that are considered TANTRUMS.

If you are the slave of your child? Good for you. But don't juge the one that are EDUCATING their children and prepare them for life and teach them to SPEAK not SCREAM in order to get something their wish.

In this case, I could say that parents that let their children be the boss of them are raising sociopath and are incapable to be parent.

Let me tell you an amazing fact: LIFE IS TOUGH.

If I go to the store and throw a big tantrum because I don't get the item I wanted. The staff choose to ignore me and consider my attitude irresponsible and even threathen to call the police. OMG are they heartless people ? Are they selfish people? If I would have gone to then explaining the matter calmly and what alternative we can find? Then I would get more consideration to my request.

Everybody has they own though of what they consider to be education.

I'm so glad I wasn't raised by people who would let me get my way all the time because I know that if they did, in the world of today I would had a really hard time.

I was raised in such a way that by as young as 18, you could throw me on the street with minimum means and I could work my way up from bottom to the top ON MY OWN.

Conditioning our kids not to take everything for granted,is not heartless or selfish. It's making sure you don't raise an entitled brat.