If you're still not convinced that crying is something we should respond to, with sensitivity and love, imagine this scenario:
You just walked in on your best friend crying. Would you say: “Whoa! You
need to learn to self-soothe and become independent! I’ll catch you later!”
And then turn around and walk out?
No, you wouldn’t, because you’re not a heartless person, and you know that your friend would feel betrayed and hurt by your lack of caring and support. It would probably cause serious and permanent damage to the relationship, including an erosion of trust.
So why do we do exactly this to our vulnerable little babies, when they don’t have the coping skills that we adults have? They haven't achieved the cognitive development required to be able to "self-soothe." If they don’t get the comfort and support they need from us, they can’t pick up the phone and call a friend. They can’t walk out the door and join a support group. They are left to cry uncomforted till they fall asleep from exhaustion, with their little brains all bathed in toxic stress chemicals. Besides being a cruel thing to do to babies, the research indicates that many experiences of "crying it out" can have long-term negative consequences. Their brains do not develop as they should, their anti-anxiety systems are damaged, and they will be at higher risk for depression, addictions, anxiety, high blood pressure and other physical and psychological and problems.
But, you might ask, don't babies cry to get their way? Can't they be manipulative?
First, it's a good thing to teach our babies to ask for what they want and need. So many adults don't know how to do this, and hint around, or become passive-agressive, or manipulate others, or feel deprived because they don't get what they want even though they never ask. Regarding manipulation, throwing a tantrum to get a toy or candy will only work with parents who "give in" to these tactics, to avoid a public scene or just because it's easier. Obviously not every want should be indulged; children need the safety and discipline of limits. But when a baby just wants you, just wants to be near you for comfort and security, he or she is expressing a need, a need that should be taken seriously and satisfied if at all possible. "Tantrums" are often meltdowns caused by a child being over-tired or over-stimulated. These children need help from a trusted adult to calm down the neurological and hormonal storms in their brains and bodies; punishment is not called for and will be counter-productive.
Why the song "All I Want Is You" was written
Original title: "Where I Need To Be"
Help spread the word about comforting babies! Tell your friends about our YouTube video!
It's important to know the science regarding infant crying and its effects on the brain and body. However, it is just as important to understand how babies feel, which is why this song was written. If we want our children to perceive and care about the feelings of others, we need to show them we hear what they are communicating and that we care about their feelings. Children don't learn empathy by being lectured about it' they learn it by experiencing it.
Parenting for a Caring World
"Secure Babies, Strong Children, Successful Adults"
Your Resource for CARE Parenting
Conscious, Attuned, Responsive and Empathetic
In other words...
The first goal of the sad lyrics and haunting melody is to show that babies SUFFER when left alone to cry, just as we
adults suffer when WE cry.
The second goal is to encourage people to COMFORT babies when they're sad, lonely or afraid, just as we comfort adults
who need it.
Does this baby look like he's learning to become confident and "independent" by being left alone to "cry it out"? This is what mainstream American "experts" have been telling parents for decades.
We think he's learning that his parents don't care about his needs and feelings, that they don't care that he's scared to be left alone. We think he's also learning that he's powerless, that he can't get what he needs from the world, now matter how hard he tries to get his parents to come back for him.
(See one-minute video on Home page; it has first part of song.)