Number of kids: 1
Ages of kids: 6 Mos.
Problem: My husband and I just went out of town, and left our 6 month old boy with his aunt. When we got back she kept on raving about how spoiled he was. This kind of hurt my feelings because at home, he is not always in my arms and he has his own independence. I told her the only time he cries is when he is hungry. And she said, "All I can tell you is he is spoiled rotten!"
Now every time I hold my child in front of my husband he says, "Put him down, you are spoiling him." Now I feel confused, what should I do? Do I go on loving my child like he is used to?, or stop this spoiling process before it gets worse? Someone HELP!
Solution submitted by "Karhhli" from Columbus, OH: What kind of Adult let alone AUNT can be so heartless as to call a baby merely wanting to be shown love, spoiled. And your husband should be listening to his own heart instead of the obviously bitter and unsolicited words of his sister. Perhaps as babies and children they were not shown enough love and this can affect the way they show love..... have him learn to ENJOY his baby, encourage him to spend time and to find joy in everything the baby does, for him and with him, and tell the Aunt (if she does not already have children) to begin with a cabbage patch doll, there she can do no damage. Find someone who genuinely loves babies to mind your child next time, your child will learn what it is shown.... from its aunt it will learn to be shallow and lacking. From you and your hubby it will learn love and tenderness.
Another solution submitted by "JoAnn" from Garland, TX: You don't need a solution, because you don't have a problem! You cannot spoil a 6 month old. Don't worry, be happy!! From a mother who knows.
Another solution submitted by "Vicki" from San Jose, CA: Not only is everyone who has submitted a solution right, but at 6 months your child might be experiencing some separation anxiety.
And what baby, when taken out of his home for even a short while (he didn't know when you would be back), wouldn't cling to whatever comfort he could get. He was not only missing you, but all of his other daily surroundings. So of course he was "clingy"! Pick him up!
(This doesn't mean you should feel bad about having taken a break!)
Another solution submitted by "Mahmee" from Jamaica, NY: What exactly is spoiling a 6 mos. old baby? Can he talk, yet? Can he tell you that he is wet or hungry or that he needs a hug? Since you folks were away, could he tell his Aunt that he missed your voices, faces, smells, touches? Don't be changed by the comments of others. I am raising 3 mentally retarded, teenaged boys, one of whom never received the nurturing that most parents afford their children. He is 17, and after 8 years in my home, is still uncomfortable with a hug or warm gesture. Mom, Dad, your little one is going to learn so much from how you, as parents, relate to him. Yes, we do learn warmth. Mom, hold the baby; talk to the baby, smooch the baby, rock the baby, and dad...learn to do the same. Remember to "SPOIL" each other in the process!
Another solution submitted by Shannon from Havertown, PA: Mabear is right! You can't spoil a baby. You can only build trust with a baby that you are filling their needs. One of their needs is love and closeness with their mother. All the people who were sure that I was spoiling my high need baby by carrying her around in a sling, picking her up whenever she needed it, and basically loving her like crazy have been silenced, and agree to the single one, including my grandmother, who is not known to give praise, that my little 2 year old, is a charming, well-behaved, unspoiled little girl. YOU know what your daughter needs. Don't let anybody tell you different.
I recommend The Baby Book by Sears and Sears.
Editor's Note: The recommended book can be ordered through The #!Parentsroom Bookstore in association with Amazon.com by clicking on the books title or the Book Jacket, above. Amazon Synopsis as follows: Pediatric specialists and the parents of seven children, William and Martha Sears write from unparalleled professional and personal experience. They emphasize five basic needs of babies--eating, sleeping, development, health, and comfort--and provide specific information on the most recent findings regarding treatment of illnesses, infant nutritional requirements, parent-child bonding, and much more. 230 line drawings.
Another solution submitted by Expat of Malaysia: Allow me to quote from Dr T. Berry Brazelton's book Touchpoints: "...Many parents...express worries about spoiling a child. If they are worried about giving a baby of eight or nine months too much love and attention, that is a needless worry. My concept of a spoiled child is that of an anxious child, searching for limits. If no one provides them, she must keep searching, testing. In the coming months, you will see behavior that is clearly a bid for such limits...."
'...In my experience, a "spoiled" child is an anxious or driven child. You don't make a child spoiled by attending to her needs..."
I quite agree with Mabear (solution below) about not letting other's opinions bother you too much. It's amazing how much advice one receives at this time! Wait till someone gives your child a potty seat for his first birthday...
It's a mistake for adults to expect children to act like adults. You as a mother will know instinctively when you are doing the right thing - and you are in fact doing a wonderful job now. Keep it up!
Editor's Note: See The #!Parentsroom book review of this book for more information or if you are interested in buying this book. It is available to buy through The #!Parentsroom Bookstore (in association with Amazon.com).
Another solution submitted by DLynne of Chino Valley, AZ:Two things to consider:
Another solution submitted by Tim of Charlottetown, PEI, CAN: I also agree with Mabear (solution below). Keep in mind every child is unique and no one knows your child better than you. You will find conflicting solutions depending on what book you read on what is spoiling a child and what is not. In every relationship the mother and the father come from different backgrounds and were taught to see child-rearing in different ways. The best thing to do is collaborate and find a balance between the two of you as to what you believe is right. Set ground rules and stick to them. As your child gets older it will become more obvious whether he is being spoiled through his attitude and how he interacts with other children and adults. Always remember, though, every child is unique and needs a different amount of attention. Some kids need very much attention and others need very little.
Another solution submitted by Mabear of Phoenix, AZ: I made a mistake when my firstborn (son) was small. In feeling totally out of my depth with a newborn but wanting to be a great mom, I solicited advice from every corner and then tried to incorporate it all into my effort at "motherhood." In short, I became undependable to the one who needed my uncompromising stability. Only YOU know the heart of your child and you are that child's rock. From where I stand today, I am ashamed that other peoples opinions swayed me so much... especially since a mother's action and reaction stems from love. A love that only the mother of the child can feel so deeply. I would so encourage you to continue loving as you are. You are building something wonderful here. My children's auntie is the spoiled one. She has no children so has never paced the floor with a "bundle of tummyache" in her arms at 2:00 a.m. or had the privilege of "life at a snails pace" as you take the hand of your infant and walk gradually together through the first year of life. Just keep on. You are doing fine. Auntie, I think, has abundant audacity and perhaps a mite of impatience. I know the one on MY end does anyway! :)
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