Monday, April 23, 2012

The Family Bed

She has raised ten children.  They all walk with Jesus and are incredible children.  After they were born, they would sleep in the same bed with her and her husband along with another child.  There were also several other children sleeping on the floor in her bedroom. 

She never let her babies cry or have a pacifier.  She nursed them on demand until they wanted to stop, around three years old.  After one years old, she would spank them for disobedience.  She demanded that they obey her and was consistent about following through. 

They were raised on God's Word, hard work, and lots of love and laughter.  She was a fabulous mother.  However, she uses Bible verses to say that her way of mothering babies is the only way.  They must never be allowed to cry.  They must sleep in the parent's bed until two or three years old and never be disciplined before the age of one or she seems to imply you are going against God's Word. 

My babies never slept in my bed.  Ken and I are both such light sleepers that it would have been impossible for us to sleep with a baby in our bed.  I allowed them to cry.  I made them sleep through the night when they were three months old in their own bed.  Was I a bad mom and sinning? 

All my children walk with Jesus and are disciplined, healthy adults.  I think we need to be careful as Christians of saying our way is the only way when it comes to things that aren't specifically written out in the Bible. 

I don't see anywhere in the Bible that your babies must sleep with you or that you can't allow them to cry or you must wait until they are one years old to discipline.  Things like breast feeding, using pacifiers, when to potty train, family bed, etc. should be left to each families discretion, I believe. 

We can seek wise counsel from others and try different things but I don't think we should judge others if they decide raise their babies differently than we do.  I was told that allowing a baby to cry would cause SIDS and insecure children.  I don't believe that. 

We must respect the way others choose to raise their children.  The one thing that needs to be taught as not being negotiable, however, is when parents don't discipline their children.  When you tell your child to do something, do whatever you need to do {spanking, time out, etc.} to make sure your child obeys you the first time.  If you have to tell them to do something twice, you are teaching them disobedience.

 Undisciplined children usually grow up to dislike their parents and have difficult lives.  Disciplined children grow up to respect their parents and are a blessing to society.  

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6