Blog item from Darcia Narvaez Draws Attention

December 22, 2011William Schmitt

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Darcia Narvaez, associate professor of psychology and an IEI Fellow, reports having received 347,000 hits in the first several days after her Dec. 11, 2011, post on her "Moral Landscapes" blog. The blog is associated with Psychology Today magazine. The post that drew so much interest is entitled, "Dangers of 'Crying it Out': Damaging Children and their Relationships for the Long Term."

Narvaez, who is an affiliate faculty member with the Center for Children and Families (CCF), which in turn is affiliated with the Institute for Educational Initiatives, offers her blog readers a detailed review of reasons why leaving babies alone to "cry it out" with a minimum of "mother love" comforting is damaging to both the baby and the mother. She recalls the behaviorist approach that favors "crying it out" has been around for a long time, but the arguments against it have been reaffirmed by modern neuroscience.

These insights have implications for education because parenting practices--one of the areas studied by the CCF--have an impact on children's later intelligence, wellbeing, and moral capabilities, Narvaez points out.