Cry It Out

Many parents have different beliefs when it comes to allowing their children to cry it out. The term means different things to different people. Some believe that babies should cry until they exhaust themselves, when it comes to a battle of wills between the child and the parent. Others believe that it should only be used to a certain extent, while some people don't believe in it at all, feeling that it affects your child's self confidence, security and self esteem in the future.

A typical example is getting your child to sleep through the night. You put your baby to bed in their crib and, at some point, they begin to cry. A lot of parents implement an extinction method of letting the child "cry it out." Instead of running to their child's whimper, they allow the child to see that their mom or dad is not going to jump every single time, and this signals that it really is bedtime. This method takes a few days to fully implement but, as with any extinction, day by day it gets easier, and the child cries less. Eventually, you will have a child that sleeps through the night. Everyone seems to win, parent and child.

On the other side of the coin, what other behavior are you extinguishing. A baby comes to rely on its parents and is secure in the fact that their mom or dad will be there for them when needed. By using the cry it out method, are you teaching your children the opposite? Are you conditioning your kids to not trust the fact that you will always be there? Some believe that this is far-fetched and that they are only babies, while others strongly believe the opposite. Either way, this is a prime example of a method of extinction that is commonly used in many households today.


  1. This is a controversial issue that i think all parents face at some point or another. personally, I can't bear to let my son cry it out at night because I don't want him to think I'm not there for him when he needs or wants me. Some parents are tougher than others, it all depends on the parenting style.

  2. I really enjoyed your post. Personally, thats what my mother did with me, let me cry it out. When I came across this part in the text, I asked my parents opinion on it, and it seems to have been hardest on the parent to let your child cry, but I never learned to not rely on my parents. It is all about if the parent is strong enough to follow through with it.

  3. After readng everyones comments I asked my mom what she did with me and she said she was told to let me "cry it out" but she could never stand to do it.

  4. This is very interesting! I was always told to let them cry it out. I never thought it could have negative affects.


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