I live near Seattle with my husband of 14 years and our two boys. William is 7 and Lucas is 4. I stay home with them and work at the same time, part-time from home as a freelance marketing communications writer.
I was introduced to the Parent Wise books before I had kids. I had planned to follow Babywise from day one with William but was thrown for a loop after he was born. He had an extreme dairy sensitivity, which created colic (incessant crying), and we didn’t figure this out until he was six weeks old. During those six weeks, I fed on demand, rocked or bounced him to sleep, and did everything I could to comfort him and minimize the pain. At 7.5 weeks, with all dairy out of our systems, we implemented Babywise. Aside from a few hiccups, both boys did really well on their schedules.
When William became a toddler, his behaviors began to change. I had read Babywise II but hadn’t implemented any of it. It all seemed a little silly at the time. (Now I know better.) I knew his behaviors were not what I wanted from my child, but I blamed it on the “terrible twos”. As he neared his third birthday, I began to get nervous. Once he turned three, I no longer had an excuse. Also, my husband had left for a year in Kuwait and I was eight months pregnant with Lucas. I knew I had to do something.
That’s when I discovered Toddlerwise, Preschoolwise and Childwise. After reading Childwise in just three days, I had a renewed sense of hope. Childwise offered an instruction manual of sorts and promised to pull us out of this bad-behavior predicament.
While I couldn’t get enough of the books, I found it difficult to apply the principles in my daily life. I was raised in a somewhat permissive household, and my friends and family members are fairly permissive with their children. I knew in my heart that the Ezzo principles were right for us, but it did not come naturally to me.
I often called my friend who introduced me to Babywise, peppering her with questions. She was a great help and will always hold a special place in my heart. I cannot thank her enough. If she had never introduced me to the Ezzo principles in the first place, I would be one stressed out, unhappy mom.
And by that time, I had discovered the wonderful Babywise board on Maya’s Mom (now BabyCenter). While these moms helped me with my concerns, what I appreciated most was finding a group of like-minded moms. I still enjoy chatting with them on a daily basis.
Through this group, I learned about the “contact mom” resource (see Resources). My contact mom spent countless hours on the phone and in email with me. She and her husband are now teaching us the Growing Kids God’s Way class in their home. I am enormously grateful for their time and wisdom.
What also helped was listening to the Mom’s Notes (see Resources). These audio recordings are very comprehensive and detailed, and they taught me exactly how to apply the principles in daily life. I listen to them whenever I need a reminder or feel like our behaviors are slipping.
In our years of training William, his behaviors have improved immensely, and he is now the happy, compliant little boy that I always hoped he could be. He says “yes, mommy” to me 95% of the time and is generally obedient about 90% of the time. We do room time every day and he can’t get enough of it. He will play on his own for hours on end. He even helps me out with his brother. If you had asked me a year and a half ago if we would be where we are now, I would say no way. We still have our issues, but in general, he is very obedient.
So why does this make me qualified to offer parenting advice? First, I have read and listened to just about every resource that exists on the Ezzo principles. Second, I apply these principles every single day of my life. Third, I have seen the “dark side” :) and have overcome every behavior issue you might imagine. Fourth, I graduated with a degree in English from a well-known school and write for a living, so I can communicate my thoughts pretty well. I hope you agree!