5 ways to spoil your child (and why we should)

Gosh there are so many rules these days, aren't there? 'No TV before two years of age.' 'Dont praise your child too much, he will expect praise for every little thing.' 'Dont be a helicopter parent kids have to make their own mistakes.' 'Dont let your kids call the shots.' 'Make sure your kids do some chores.'

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Ok, so these all sound quite logical. But am I allowed to show my child I love him? Can I have fun with him? After all, his childhood is my motherhood too.

Of course, I'm not saying you should give in to your childs every demand none of us want to raise children who are bratty, self-centered, demanding and inconsiderate. But you can and should spoil your child with love, and have some fun in the process. Here are a few of our favourite ways.

Why not be their friend? Have fun with them share their interests.

My son loves dinosaurs and, you know what? I love dinosaurs too. I stomp around the house and roar loudly in an obvious bid to elicit those delicious giggles. I know I should be teaching patience and financial responsibility by not constantly buying my son presents (and constantly plying your child with material possessions is a sure fire way to create that bratty child we we're talking about earlier) but I am going to encourage his interest by buying him that totally awesome dinosaur book even though it's not his birthday or Christmas. And I am going to dust of my awful sewing skills just to surprise him with a dinosaur hoodie I saw on Pinterest. I might even make one for myself!

Remember you don't have to be an authority figure all the time.

Sometimes you have to pull out the authority card. Especially during the toddler years. Early childhood researcher and author Alicia F. Lieberman discusses in her book The Emotional Life of the Toddler the obligation parents feel to consistently stand their ground on decisions made for their toddlers. Because I said so, is a common response offered to toddlers when really the parents are not entirely sure why they have made such a decision, but know they need to be displaying a consistent appearance.

Lieberman offers the practical solution of re-evaluating your stance. If an adult we're to question your motives, how would you react?

Maybe you do have to stand by your initial decision, maybe you we're being realistic. Can you explain it in simple terms to your child in better words than Because I said so? On the other hand, we're you doing it to save face? Be reasonable. Admit they we're right, show them you are human (and that they are too). You both learn a lesson and you will get a break from the tension.

Savour the 'last' moments.

Do you remember when you thought your 4kg newborn was heavy? It was nice when she finally fell asleep, although being trapped on the couch with a fussy baby on your chest wasnt ideal especially when it became a habit. But these days your baby weighs 14kg and isn't so good at sleeping during the day. Today you are having a cuddle with him and realise oh my goodness! Hes asleep! Well there goes my plan to cook/clean/read. Mummy, grab another cushion, wrap your arms around him and hold him tight. It might be the last time your baby sleeps on you, so why not savour the sensation of his little heart beating against your chest; his warm breath on your neck; his soft hair as he nuzzles in against your cheek.

Give Yourself a Break.

Sometimes spoiling your child means giving yourself a break too. Like having a coffee together. I always thought babyccinos we're pretentious until I desperately needed a caffeine hit and my 20 month old just wasnt satisfied with his water bottle and banana. I was offered a complimentary babyccino and he went nuts over the bubbly milk. Now it's a regular excursion, and is actually a nice little bonding moment for the two of us.

Likewise, a few episodes of Bob the Builder at home is enough time for me to put my feet up and catch my breath between dreaded sessions of craft or helping Mummy clean. He loves it, I love it, everyones happy.

And Finally Spoil Them With Love.

Hug them. Kiss them. Be excited when they come home from Grandmas. Catch their eye from across the room, wave and smile at them. Remember reading about how you cannot spoil a baby with too much love? Well it never ends. There is no magic cut off at 12 months where suddenly the child is emotionally stable enough to interpret your actions as love. In fact, toddlers are going through an incredibly intense emotional stage (to be experienced again in another decade, hurrah). They are discovering these feelings inside their bodies they have never felt before, and they don't know what to do with them. They need your love, your reassurance now more than ever.

You can be a little selfish too. Get those displays of affection while they are still free-flowing. Some of my best memories of this age are enthusiastic tackle-hugs and sloppy kisses on chubby cheeks. I want in on that action before he stops handing it out.

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Posted in Other Home Post Date 05/26/2016






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