Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Late Nite Trials, Tribulations, and Resolutions

Here is a new abbreviation for you: CIO.

It stands for Crying It Out and it is a strategy(??) parents use to teach their children how to sleep through the night. After making sure that the children aren't in any particular pain or terror, the parents let the children cry until they become exhausted and fall asleep.

It isn't fun. For Parents of Multiples, it is a bit more difficult for obvious reasons . . . the child who can't sleep and must CIO wakes up the child who can sleep and it snowballs into multiple CIO experiences. Claire and Caroline are both quite skilled at CIO while Catherine somehow finds it within herself to sleep through it all. I can't decide whether I am more impressed with Claire, who can scream very loudly without growing weary of the exercise or with Catherine, who is oblivious to it all.

Leigh and I do our best to get through the night. To comfort myself, I read a little about the CIO method and found this article. The main point: A mental health expert warns that fashionable advice to ignore your child's tears may cause lifelong harm.


On to the triplet website, where I found our precise situation duplicated here. At least I found a bit of comfort there, in spite of what the study with brain scans tells me about the damage I'm doing to my daughters.

So what does this have to do with choir?

Good question . . . the thing is, even after the girls went to sleep I was still awake running over the today's rehearsal in my head. What started so well had a few tense momentsm (well, one) that i had trouble figuring out .

There is a danger in the "open exchange" rehearsal style that I use and we/I found it today. It isn't worth dwelling on or rehashing and it really wasn't that big of a deal in the end. I spoke with the people I needed to speak and we arrived at a mutual understanding of the factors that played into the moment.

The bottom line: Choir rehearsals are collaborative works where humans exhibit natural emotions and frustrations in the process of making something worthwhile (creating art). The proper response from any momentary frustration or conflict is to gain wisdom and knowledge from the experience and to move forward with grace, knowledge, and a redefined purpose.

And, now, a poetic link: we are the music makers of the world.


Katie Mo said...

Hey Dr Copeland! Thanks for letting me burn the CD, I got it to work! :) parents let me cry, I think. And look how well I turned out! hehehehe. uh oh. you might want to try a new strategy.

at least people don't call you at one, knowing you're up, wanting to go hang out! my life is a crazy one.

I really like the Rutter Gloria, although when we sing it, I want to fall asleep. I'm still searching for the correlation on this, since I didn't fall asleep when we were working our other music and I got the same amount of sleep.

Also, I was watching some mindless television today and they were seeing if talking to plants (positively or negatively), leaving them alone, or playing (positive or negative) music would affect their growth. The plants that listened to heavy metal did better than any other, although the classical-music plants and the ones that were spoken to (either way) did better than the control group. I thought it was pretty interesting.

Clayton said...

As a small-n-tiny baby, I didnt cry much so my parents did not have to worry about the whole CIO thing. I think the direct effects of CIO may be greater on the parent than the child. Say like the parents get used to ignoring their child as they are young and it carries over to the teenage years where you really need to listen to your kids. I think CIO is effective when kids are young. Just listen to them when they get older.

Oh and Katie, Heavy metal makes sense. I would guess that the shredding lead solos and pounding bass would loosen the dirt and allow faster root growth henceforth creating a stronger, better plant. What can we get from this? UAB Concert choir should change to a heavy metal band and chorus to better effect peoples lives.
God Bless!

Francesca said...

I did that plant project in sixth grade for the science fair. do i care about horticulture? heck no! it just seemed easy. my results were stunning: whether you talk to, play music to, or leave alone $2 plants from wal-mart, by the end of the expiriment they still look like...$2 plants from walmart. and your family's about ready to have you locked up because you've been talking to plants.

Anonymous said...

If I can remember, there was something on those lines in my abnormal child psych class on the "CIO" treatment. One should consider the age of the child as crying is age appropriate for very young children. In this case, the crying is their only way to express needs and at such an early age the child has to make the association that the parents are always there when they need it... even in the middle of the night.

I think it has something to do with the healthy and necessary attachment between primary caregiver and child. However, I think this is only for the newborn and may have a cut off after the first year as the alternative may lead to obvious "over-attachment" problems when certain developmental milestones are reached. I will have to look it up.

It would probably be best to look into Bowlby's theory of attachment as night crying (fear) is a biological survival skill used by the infant to maintain or restore proximity to the parent.

Harsh treatments (CIO) of these actions at such an early age may lead a child to be internalized with a view of the world that is undependable, unavailable, etc. This obviously may play some role in childhood onset anxiety disorders or social problems.

Again, I would research attachment theory first before I followed the CIO.

And in response to the whole topic of the blog I am reminded of two quotes:

"Intuition should never be confused with intelligence. Be empirical! Look!”

AND my mother's favorite biblical admonishment:
(and I paraphrase)

"Slow to anger. Slow to speak. Quick to listen."

You bible scholars will have to look that one up because I'm not sure where she got it or if it is her own spin on the verse.

Oh yeah, this is Keith posting.

Philip L. Copeland said...

Interesting post, Keith.

Did a quick Google research on what you described and the most on point article/discussion was here:

Everything that I found had to do with infant bonding, not 17 month old babies and nothing spoke on point to multiples.

Teaching babies how to work through their sleep cycles is an interesting endeavor . . .

Francesca said...

dear people in choir and person who directs it,
i am thankful for you. you're good kids. don't forget it.