Friday, October 7th, 2005
Indulgences â€“ how much is too much?
When do you stop indulging your child? I define an indulgence as any act that placates a crying toddler. I’m not talking about crying that occurs due to pain or discomfort, but crying that occurs purely so that the kid gets her way.
Three examples from this week:
- I’m walking through a store carrying shirts. Little Miss cries until I let her carry all of the shirts, piled in her arms and around her neck. At first I thought her "helping out" was cute. At the cash register, she cries while the clerk rings up my purchase. I decline a bag because I know Miss will insist on carrying the shirts out of the store. The clerk tells me she has three kids and that I shouldn’t indulge mine.
- I’m feeding Little Miss lunch and she points at my plate, grimaces and whines. We are eating the same thing, but she isn’t satisfied by my giving her some of my food. She wants to eat off my plate. So we trade plates. A few bites later, she wants to trade again.
- Just about any time Little Miss sees a toy or stuffed animal across a room in a location she cannot reach, she cries, with outstretched arms aimed at the object of desire. Sometimes I give her the object. Sometimes I move the object out of sight or into another room.
It seems like I indulge Miss whenever I will be unable to distract her and otherwise avoid a crying fit. I’d love to hear from parents who have the will to just let their child cry out his or her frustration.