Am I being too harsh(14 Posts)
I adore my 11 month old ds and comfort him whenever he is genuinely upset but if he is just grizzly/ whingey I tend to distract him rather than pick him up all the time, he usually brightens his mood quickly i also like him to play on his own sometimes. My dh works long hours and (I think) feels guilty so will pick ds up at the slightest murmur from him, my MIL also looks after ds twice a week and seems to relish the fact that he "cries whenever I put him down" So she indulges him, he only has to look at a toy and it's bought.
It is now hard to settle him for a couple of days if I have been at work. However I might be being too sensitive because I am afraid of him becoming spoilt and I feel guilty for going to work. But I am with him most of the time and need him to be able to amuse/settle himself. Does the impact other people have make such a difference? Or do you think this is a separation anxiety thing or a phase. It has just taken me 2 hrs to get him down for a nap. MIL and dh had him yesterday and dh said he was crying whenever MIL put him down so she held him all day.
It sounds as if you have hit nail right on the head - your MiL and DH are impacting on your DS. Personally, I'm with you - in the distraction vs picking up and them learning to play on their own. However, everyone will have a different view. I wonder if you need to have a conversation with your DH first and then your MiL - it's not going to be an easy one. Is the current situation going to continue - with her looking after your DS twice a week? If it is, then you should talk to her; if it isn't then I'd let it go. Please don't feel guilty about going to work - there are lots of positive things about working - and you are doing the best for your family and DS. Good luck!
He is 11 months old. A baby. So you don't need to worry about spoiling him with too much love and too many cuddles. Spopiling him with too many toys, yes, but even that is something for the future. This age is typical for developing separation anxiety so regardless of how your MIL cares for him you may have found him becoming more clingy and less keen to go down for naps.
Your DH clearly has a different parenting style from you and I think that is fair enough actually. I wouldn't not have picked up my children when they were whingy even if DH preferred me not to. It doesn't lead to whingy, clingy, spoiled children. Neither of mine are any of those things now at nearly 3 and 5. That doesn't mean that your way is wrong, but I think you are a being a bit harsh on your MIL and DH.
11 months was a big separation anxiety stage for both of mine. They had never been in childcare at that stage so had nothing to do with other people.
I dealt with it by not putting them down if I could possibly help it. Was much easier for me than trying to deal with crying by other methods. They grew out of it very quickly. I would be careful about asking MIL to let the baby cry sometimes. It's not really fair on her - she has to do what's easiest for her, too - she's doing you a favour.
Buying him toys all the time - if it really is every time she has him, I'd not be too happy with that, but children do learn that things are different with their grandparents and it won't necessarily lead to him being spoiled.
Pick him up. If he was 3 years old then yes, maybe time to stop doing this all the time, but he is a little baby and he will be more secure if you hold him when he is unsettled. I remember several phases of carrrying DD around, often it is a period in their development rather than other people's behaviour/your work etc etc.
I think you are right Bbee. You comfort and cuddle him when genuinely upset - but distract when grizzly or whingeing - As you say yourself - he brightens up quickly.
My DD was always unsettled when returning from being looked after by someone else and would play up for me. She would be fine with whoever was looking after her but it was like she was 'punishing' me when she returned.
Eventually she got used to people's different ways of responding to her and she knew what was what, wherever she was !
I allowed my MiL to do things a bit different with my DD as I could not expect her to do everything my way when it did not feel right to her.
Still a baby - I'd say pick up as he's wanting your reassurance and comfort. Definitely better long term to establish good bonding now. Not sure why you are worried about him being spoilt at 11 months!!!!
To sum up (and agree with everybody else):
spoiling not a big problem at 11 months- he won't remember that when he's 15 anyway
separation anxiety likely to happen whatever you did
children are adaptable and a slightly different approach from mother and grandmother is not something that should make either of you feel guilty- grandmothers are there to spoil and mothers need to survive
and I'd let your dh get on with the parenting that comes naturally to him too
Trust your instinct - you're his mother. I have to say that i don't really subscribe to the 'let him cry' method, even at that age. They can't tell us what's making them grizzly and usually when i've reached the end of my tether with my DS wanting to be picked up i find another tooth has just sprouted or he gets a cold or something. IOr he simply wanted a cuddle like we all do sometimes. t's their only way of communicating. That said, my DS isn't usually particularly clingy and can play on his own fine. His increasing tantrums when he doesn't get his own way are another matter entirely though!
'spoiling' IS a problem at 11 months. A baby will not just suddenly stop grizzling or whining for attention if the response is always to pick them up. Bbee1 has already says she does not leave him if he is genuinely upset - and when he grizzles or whines she distracts him - which is a far better solution than just giving in to whingeing. He will not learn not to whinge if he is rewarded for it. Its not a case of him remembering it at 15 - his whingeing will become established.
Bbee1 has a problem with how other people are dealing with her son and wondering how to handle that - Bbee1 has a busy life by all accounts and it won't improve if she spends lots of time having to pick her son up and comfort him for just whingeing.
All DC are different so you'll get lots of opinions.
Mine is.... at 11 months is still very much a baby - if they want picked up and comforted then do it.
My last one - DC5 - has been very clingy and it's only in the past few months - from about 15 months onwards that she's happy to sit by herself for periods of time. As she's very mobile she can come and check where I am and goes back to what she was doing.
They also learn that there are differences between parents and grandparents and that there are different 'rules' - if MIL is looking after her in a way that makes her feel loved and looked after, then there's not a lot to worry about really. Not difficult to tell MIL she doesn't need to buy all the time (?)
Only other thing if it's taking up to 2 hours to put her down for a nap - then she probably doesn't need it. Tried to do this as DC displaying tiredness and after a while I get frustrated because she's not fallen asleep - not her fault.
Good luck - 11 months is a great age and before you know she'll be a toddler
Thank you for all your opinions. I was sensitive when posting because had just found out dh will be working away for six months next year coming back alternate weekends. I will have to rely on MIL a lot more as my parents live abroad. We have very different styles (but i really dont ignore him if he is upset but i try to distract him) and I don't really want to confront her as she is likely to withdraw the help which I will desperately need. She obviously loves him very much but is very indulgent. I suppose I was just wondering how much impact other people have on children and whether I can do anything about it. He was fine the day after, I think a lot of it is separation anxiety when I've been at work(only do two days).
"Bbee1 has a problem with how other people are dealing with her son and wondering how to handle that"
Is it just me or is there anyone else feeling uncomfortable about a child's father being referred to as "other people" as if he was somehow on a par with outsiders, not a parent in his own right? Is the child not equally his son?
Yes,.. its probably just you.
Bbee1 mentions 'other people' meaning apart from herself. Her husband can be included in that - for the sake of the post ! There is nothing wrong with that.
Bbee1 - Yes,.. other people will have some impact on your son - but you are the main 'constant' in his life, therefore just be consistent in how you deal with him and try not to agonise or feel guilty about it all !
All people ( even your husband - Lets not lump him in with 'all people, eh ?) are different - and children will come into contact with lots of differing attitudes and its something they have to learn - cos thats life !
Join the discussion
Please login first.