Sunday, December 19, 2010

Being Spoiled

So I'm bored. I just got Little Man back to sleep and I decided to play on my iPhone a bit. I have basically given up on the app that saved me from boredom and loneliness after Little Man was born but sometimes I browse just to see what is going on. I got annoyed with it because the women I knew stopped using it and the new ones loved drama and I just was to busy chasing an exploring baby, working full-time and trying to keep house and marriage intact. So basically I outgrew it.
That doesn't mean though that during moments of boredom I don't take a peek and see if there is anything that interests me or that I might be able to drop some hard earned wisdom or point of view to the many repetitive questions new mothers often have. Most of the time though I think better of answering, to avoid drama, and shut the app down.
This morning though I found a topic I wanted to talk about here. Babies being considered spoiled or not. The question was about "Cry it Out" or CIO as it is referred to. I hate CIO. I think it is a terrible thing to do to any child. I know there are other less stress inducing ways to teach your child to sleep if that is your goal and you can find an excellent resource here which has a great explanation of the reason why not to CIO as well.
The way the question was stated was "I know babies under 6 months can't be spoiled but..." That is the part of the statement that caught my attention about this post. Someone put a time limit on the ability of a child to remain innocent and sweet. I was not aware that there was a magic cut off date that babies turned 6 months and if you did any of the things you did before with your child you were going to spoil them. BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktopI did a little research and found that this is apparently backed by some scientific research which I found on Wikipedia in an article about "Spoiled Children".  Way down at the bottom in the box about Parenting was there mention of Attachment Parenting and Dr. Sears.  
I followed the link on Attachment theory and it is lengthy but I really think the box on 'Child and caregiver behavior patterns before 18 months' really underlines my point.  By responding to your child's needs in an appropriate and consistent manner you are creating a secure attachment model for your child.  As a teacher I've come across some individuals that I might put the label of "spoiled" on but they displayed characteristics of being ungrateful when they are given time, knowledge or material things.  I don't know how they got to be that way but I don't feel that if when they were babies their parents had let them stand alone in a crib screaming their heads off would have helped the matter.  My experience has been that children who don't get their parents time and attention are more likely to be considered spoiled when they are older.
Little Man is turning 10 months on Christmas and I have put a lot of thought into whether or not I am "spoiling" him by carrying him, letting him nurse-down, bed-sharing and dare I say it, picking him up when he cries.  These were not the things my mother told me was the right thing to do with a baby, but this isn't my mother's family or decision to make either.  To be honest my mother picks him up when he cries as well and when she visits she brings him to me in my bed, in the middle of the night as well.  So for now I'll be a little less rested and have less time for my own interests but I'm raising my son, so for me there is nothing more interesting or important that can't wait until he's comfortable and secure enough to be on his own.  If that means that like my father, who has a room full of models waiting and collecting since his honeymoon, that I don't pick up a paintbrush or camera until I retire and Little Man moves out so be it.
How could anyone say that someone with that face could be spoiled?

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