Tuesday, June 11, 2013

You can't spoil a baby & they don't have ulterior motives

This bothers me more than anything else I think.  The idea that people believe a newborn or infant baby can become "spoiled" is absurd! To think that an infant has the kind of mental awareness to understand special treatment is simply ridiculous.  Can a toddler or child be spoiled? of course! But only because they understand what is happening.

Let me elaborate a bit more.

To be spoiled, a person has to understand that the treatment or attention he is receiving is different or exceptional compared to the treatment that others are receiving.  How can an infant possibly understand this? Simply put, they can not.  Infants have only the most basic of thoughts.  They exist on pure instinct, knowing only that they "need" not that they "want". 

Babies do not have ulterior motives.  They do not act out of spite or malicious intent.  They become aware when something is different or wrong and that causes them to NEED you.  A baby is hungry or gassy, hot or cold, over stimulated, tired, agitated, frightened, lonely, bored, confused.  These sensations can cause the infant to need you and you are either there for him or you are not.  Plain and simple.

Being responsive to your infants needs does not spoil him.  It teaches him trust, love, dependability and security.  He knows that should anything happen to him you will be there for him.  It is surprisingly difficult to be a baby! They have to learn how to do everything that we take for granted and that is exhausting (both physically & mentally) They NEED us.  They can not care for themselves.

On a related subject, a similar phrase that grates on my nerves is "Oh he's just doing that so ......" NO! They aren't!! That would imply an ulterior motive that just does not exist.  If a baby does something that seems irritating or manipulative, that is only your perspective that you are projecting towards him.  What seems incredibly disruptive to you is simply a learning experience for him.

Everyone knows the "dropping game".  Baby drops a toy, you pick it up just for him to immediately drop it agian.  Irritating right? You feel that he is doing that "just to make you pick it up again." So ... he's doing it out of spite?? NO! he's learning about cause & effect.  Actions have consequenses, but he doesn't understand that yet.  How does anyone learn anything without being taught?

The next time your little one is working on your last nerve, remember it is only his way of learning how the world works.  It is not a personal attack against you.  You are his parent, you are responsible for his growth and development. 

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