Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Can you spoil a baby?

This is a constant debate among both today’s parents and parents of past generations.  It is not a debate that will end anytime soon.  I just hope to be able to put my perspective out there, give you some research that I have found…and leave you to make your own decisions.

For those of you that know me fairly well, you know my position on this.  You can not spoil a baby  Sure, there are children out there, and even adults, that at one point got way too much that they didn’t need.  They were spoiled rotten, didn’t have any boundaries, or any respect.  I get this.  But, it would be very hard for you to convince me that a young baby who is held, attended to, and given all the love they want, will turn into a disrespectful spoiled teenager.

I am sure at some point in all of our lives, we will have a parent, or friend, telling us not to hold our baby too much, or not to feed on demand.  These people, honestly believe, that you can train your child.  Tell me how limiting the amount of time you hold your baby will teach them that they can’t have everything they want.  They can’t possibly know cause and effect yet. 

According to an article by Dr. Peter Haiman, human beings have the longest period of normal, developmental dependency.  http://www.docstoc.com/docs/15381616/Spoiling-Infants-and-Toddlers-The-Myth-that-Can-Effect-a-Lifetime

In order to feel secure and confident in life, a child needs to feel secure and confident in their home, and with their family.  This important bond is built within the first year and beyond.  “It is a parent’s accurate interpretations of, and appropriate responses to the infant’s signals that nurture the child’s felt security and the development of trust.”   My favorite part of the research represented in this article is that babies who are held, and not let to cry are more stable and self controlled six and seven year olds, “they are also more self-disciplined and less aggressively dependent.”

The world is a cruel, lonely enough place.  One day our children will be out on their own and I hope to provide mine with a loving and nurturing home and family that they can trust and come home to.  I want to give him all of the love and attention I can give him now, while he is learning what compassion and trust is, before he is faced with any other obstacles in life.  Albeit, as my son is growing older, I am learning boundaries, and when not to attend to certain things (early tantrums)…but there are so many teaching moments where you can provide love and nurture as a building block for your child.  You will never look back and say, “I wish I held him/her less.”  So, enjoy it!

1 comment:

  1. I am constantly told I spoil my son...and have been told this since he was two weeks...how can anyone think a 2 week old can be spoiled??


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