|Photo by Leeni! on Flickr|
A very special friend of mine is expecting her first baby. She was the one who first introduced me to GKGW (religious--I do not consider it Christian--version of Babywise). It sounds waaaay too dramatic, but I honestly think there is something almost demonic about that material. Aside from my strong disagreements with it, I've known of so many people (myself included) who, after reading it, even if they consciously rejected the ideas, still felt an insidious influence from its teachings.
We've been friends for many, many years. I've seen a lot of pain and some deep struggles that, in my opinion, stem from some of the practices and the general adversarial attitude that the whole Ezzo philosophy entails. She is constantly striving to please God, and I have no doubt of her love for Him, yet I've seen how this view permeates every aspect of her life and relationships. I know that she is very intelligent, and the type to read and study things, but I think all of her info is coming from the wrong sources. Her family is strongly in favor of all the Ezzo practices, from CIO before 6 weeks, scheduling feedings (and spanking toddlers for not finishing all their food), spankings before one year, etc.
I'm sure she knows that my views are a bit different, although we generally talk of other things. I would so love to share my heart completely, hand her a stack of good books, etc. But I don't want to just dump all over her or alienate her. I respect her and care about her, and I know that my tendency to come on too strong might obscure that. So, dear readers, I am asking your advice (even if I do not promise to abide by it ;) ).
I'll see her this week, and it may be the last time before the baby is born. I've thought of giving her the Sears' book on Christian parenting, Crystal Lutton's Biblical Parenting book, or Sally Clarkson's Ministry/Mission of Motherhood set. Even though the AAP and every other pediatric organization that I know of denounces Ezzo, since she is looking at it from a religious perspective, I doubt they would carry much weight. Or, should I just forget the books all together, get her a nice baby gift, and hope and pray that she will ask direct questions that give me the opportunity to explain my convictions?
Another option that occurred to me was to simply tell her up front that I have some very strong feelings about things that I would like to share with her, but that I don't want her to feel steamrolled, and that if she is interested, to ask, but that otherwise, I'll try to keep my mouth shut? She knows me well enough that I think we could both feel comfortable with this.
Gentle Readers, I am eagerly awaiting your suggestions. :)