A parent asks a question about a parenting practice that is considered abusive in my country.

I was writing a response to that question. I realised that my reply violates several community guidelines, so I didn't post it, even though my answer was true.

So, what should the response be? What is the community acceptable way to tell someone that their chosen parenting method is abusive and harmful?

Here's what I didn't post. You can see why I didn't post it.

You should not use cry it out methods on children under 6 months of age.

Your child is crying to communicate a need. By ignoring your child's cries you are not attending to her needs - you are neglecting her needs.

Neglect is a form of abuse.

If you were in the UK I'd be making a referral to child protection social workers, and they would take the case on, and try to persuade you to stop neglecting your child.

If you must use cry it out methods you must wait until the child is at least 6 months old.


1 Answer 1


For questions where you disagree with the premise, the appropriate action depends on whether you can accept the premise for argument's sake. If so, you can answer the question assuming the premise to be valid, then state why you disagree with the premise, if you have a good reason. I wouldn't call it "abuse" or talk about referral to child protection, though.

If you cannot accept the premise even for argument's sake, it's best just to skip the question.

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