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To think 'they won't remember' is a stupid thing to say?

(90 Posts)
LightminTheQueem Thu 26-Dec-13 22:15:29

So many people tell me reassuringly when the baby's upset going to sleep, or if she's hurt and upset or if they're proposing CIO or any number of things, 'don't worry, she won't remember any of this' as if it's almost therefore ok to do things which upset babies because they'll have no memory of it. It irritates me. Is it therefore ok to do the same to someone with memory loss? Have none of them seen 'Memento'? Can they not sense their cruel inhumanity to their fellow memory deprived humans? Hmm?

OpalTourmaline Thu 26-Dec-13 22:17:10

Yes that annoys me too. Just because they wont remember something doesn't mean it won't affect them.

Sirzy Thu 26-Dec-13 22:18:24

It's true though chances are they won't remember it. Now if it is long term ignoring of upset then it could be a problem of course but being upset occasionally isn't going to be something which is remembered for life. Doesn't mean you don't comfort them or whatever but I don't see why you dislike people pointing that out.

southeastastra Thu 26-Dec-13 22:18:34

did you say somthing?

AlaskaNebraska Thu 26-Dec-13 22:19:12

never mind that - i keep thinking of all the trips we did with the kids htey dont remember

flippen nora

monniemae Thu 26-Dec-13 22:19:25

agree. See also: "it won't kill her" (to cry / wait for a feed / etc".

BackforGood Thu 26-Dec-13 22:20:42

What Sirzy said. They are trying to reassure you - yes, whatever is horrible or painful or whatever at the moment, but it won't last.

thenightsky Thu 26-Dec-13 22:21:42

YABU as it is true, they won't remember. Sirzy is correct.

DS broke his leg, aged 3, in a pretty traumatic accident abroad and the treatment was harrowing compared to what he would have experienced in this country.

He is now in his late teens and cannot remember a single bit of it. He swears I made it all up when I ask him about it.

CailinDana Thu 26-Dec-13 22:24:26

I can't tell if you're serious but I agree with the general point. I think the more important point is that you are constantly developing a relationship with your child and every action you take is a building block regardless of whether the child remembers it or not. I think the danger of methods like CIO is that you have to detach yourself from your child's distress and that is not a healthy thing to do. It leads to the ridiculous idea that babies "manipulate" adults. It's absolutely bonkers but it comforts people into thinking it's ok to ignore a screaming baby. Once you believe that sort of bullshit it can lead to an adversarial undertone in the parent/child relationship which can snowball and be really destructive.

ShylaMcClaus Thu 26-Dec-13 22:25:38

I am a chronic insomniac, always have been. Fostered at birth and given to adoptive parents who expected a three month old to settle without picking up and left several times for hours at the shops in my pram grin

Don't remember any cuddles at all to be honest.

It was interesting to read about attachment theory and neural pathways when I became a parent. My DC slept on my stomach for the first few days and with me for ages. Teenaged DC still cuddles me whilst towering over me. It is lovely smile

FrysChocolateCream Thu 26-Dec-13 22:27:53

YANBU. For example: Say a child suffered from abusive parents for the first two years of its life. Just because he won't remember it, doesn't mean he won't have lasting negative effects from those experiences.

CailinDana Thu 26-Dec-13 22:28:13

Nightsky usually what makes something traumatic isn't pain but fear and a feeling of being alone or helpless. Chances are your soncan't remember breaking his leg as you were so comforting that it wasn't at all traumatic.

FrysChocolateCream Thu 26-Dec-13 22:28:54

X post with Shyla who sadly illustrates my point.

ziggiestardust Thu 26-Dec-13 22:30:19


So my DS will remember me with horrific PND and feeling helpless and utterly unable to bond with him?

Hawkmoth Thu 26-Dec-13 22:30:34

No. Bastard thing to say.

The MWs said it to me when DD1 was in hospital screaming for a feed and they wouldn't let me pick her up. Fuckers.

foreverondiet Thu 26-Dec-13 22:32:01

Well they won't remember, but yes perhaps something might affect them. But I really don't believe the odd bit of CIO is going to have a life long impact.

My DC do seem to recall some things from when 3, especially if reminded through photos of otherwise - eg we bought DS1 a camera for being brave for operation when he was three and he won't part with camera, part of me things we should have bought him a big box of chocolates as then he would have been more likely to forget operation. But none has any recollection of anything before age 2.

CailinDana Thu 26-Dec-13 22:32:51

No ziggie. No one said that.

ShylaMcClaus Thu 26-Dec-13 22:33:35

CailinDana that makes sense. I can cope with pain but generalised fear is what really paralyses me.

Jengnr Thu 26-Dec-13 22:34:47


My one year old just had an operation. The fact he won't remember it has been something that has helped us through it.

roadwalker Thu 26-Dec-13 22:34:48

I have an adopted DD and this used to drive me crazy
Because she was only 1 people would say Oh she will be fine because she won't remember anything
I always replied, so the first year of your babies life didn't count then?
Put them in a Romanian orphanage for the first year and I guarantee it will be a different child who returns
Childrens brains development depends on appropriate love and nurture
If they are constantly stressed or neglected their brains Wii develop differently

FortyDoorsToNowhere Thu 26-Dec-13 22:34:59

I hope I haven't damaged my DD, she is my 2nd child and I was ready to snap. She cried constantly

The HV told me to leave her cry in a safe place and go to another room. If I didn't do that god knows what I would have done to her.

I was on 40mg of citopram because I was very depressed.

thenightsky Thu 26-Dec-13 22:36:24

CailinDana My son was taken from me to be treated. He was screaming for me and DH but the hospital staff wouldn't allow us to be in sight of him even.

He remembers not a jot of it.

Sirzy Thu 26-Dec-13 22:37:45

There is a big difference with the points with regards to long term denial of love/affection/care and the very minor things which the op used.

LightminTheQueem Thu 26-Dec-13 22:37:50

cailin - half serious, as I know it prob is BU to be annoyed and they're trying to reassure me. But I do feel like it seems to be used a bit much and, like with shyla's example maybe excuses things which shouldn't be excused. It very sad to read that, sad

ziggie - no of course not, I'm sorry. I meant it more as a light hearted thing and also something people seem to say when defending treatment of babies which seems potentially a bit harsh. Your PND wasn't a choice.

Hawkmoth Thu 26-Dec-13 22:37:55

When they say the child won't remember it, the inference is that your feelings in the matter are totally irrelevant. That's usually pretty far from the truth.

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