A new study from Australia shows that parents possessing the lack of empathy required to let their babies cry themselves to sleep without so much as touching them, have nothing to worry about regarding the child’s psychological development. Behavioral sleeping techniques such as Ferberizing and the “camping out” method were tested on unwitting infants, who were revisited at age 6 and who, to some surprise, showed no psychological effects from the emotional abandonment — neither harm nor benefit.
For those unfamiliar with the German methods of sleep training:
- Ferberizing refers to a method in which the infant is classically conditioned to fall asleep when put in the crib. This starts by putting the awake child in and sitting patiently nearby while he cries — no doubt due to the agony of feeling alone, unloved and abandoned — until either you win and he falls asleep or you lose because you can’t take it anymore. At that point, you note how much time has passed and pick him up; the next time, repeat the process but wait a little longer before picking him up. After a while, the infant will realize you have the emotional depth of a pine tree, and will cope by rendering himself unconscious, in hope of a better tomorrow.
- Camping out is almost the exact same thing, but sounds less toxic.
And now science is pretty sure that both of them leave the child unharmed, even if they do hint at your own hollowness.
Note: if you mention the term “to Ferberize” to someone unfamiliar with the method, they would probably guess the definition had to do with applying chemical treatment to carpet so as to make it stain proof. In fact, they would be surprised to learn that the term is quite closely the equivalent of emotional infant care to that definition.