Thursday, August 6, 2009

I guess I should clarify

In my last post I probably should have clarified the part about Lucy "not taking other babies toys." I meant this just the way it came out...Lucy is not the type of baby who goes around snatching toys from other babies. When someone takes a toy from her she doesn't fuss but she kind of looks up at me like "Why would someone do that, Mommy?" Then she goes off to happily playing with something else.

In those ways Lucy is very easy going, and resilient. If G.I. Joe and I were harsh parents who "punished" her for doing something "wrong" would she really be that easy going? I doubt it.

I've gotten a bit of feedback on my last post, feedback that is not in the published comments. I gotta say it made me really upset at first. Do people think that I'm so stupid that I don't understand the whole "babies don't know better" concept?

Now, I just have to laugh. Really now. The only thing that would happen if Lucy took a toy from someone else is I would calmly take it from her and say, "So-and-so was playing with that, Sweetie. Lets give this back to him/her and we'll play with something else."

I would do that because babies do pick up on certain things. What some people think is funny to watch in babies becomes an ingrained habit in toddlers that won't be easy to break. Lucy doesn't get "in trouble" for things. We just let her know that won't be happening and we all move on. What is wrong with that?

Its okay to expect babies to sign "please" and "thank you" and to understand what those things mean, but its not okay to start teaching (with low expectations of course) to respect other people? Isn't that what "please" and "thank you" are also for? Respect? Manners?

Here's another example if you don't like the toy stuff. Lucy can say some words. She has words that she says really well, clear as day. A stranger would know what she meant. She has other words that we understand because of being around her and the context of them. Because of that I decided a couple weeks ago to just start saying "please" to her a lot. I say it occasionally before I give her a bite of cereal, or sometimes before handing her a toy. Lucy can say "Ppppppuh." But that's about as far as she gets most of the time. Do I keep her food or toy away from her if she won't make the effort to say it? NO WAY! The important thing is she hears me saying it when its appropriate and she will start connecting it. She'll start connecting "please" before other toddlers who had never heard it before. If it she doesn't start saying it regularly though until she's like 2 years old, that's okay.

As her parents G.I. Joe and I want Lucy to have everything she wants, but at the same time, we don't want that. We want her to be happy and healthy. And we all know kids who get everything they want. Are they every truly satisfied? No. That's why we are starting to show Lucy how to be content and play with what you've got. She is a baby though and if she's not satisfied when she sees another bright flashing toy, that's okay. No big deal. She'll get there one day.

Again I must laugh and say "I guess we're doing something right after all." No Lucy is not a typical selfish baby. People might say I'm strict because I like to impart good manners at a young age but others might say we're not strict enough because we don't let her cry her eyes out by herself. Oh well. Other parents at gym class think Lucy is one of the sweetest and kindest babies they've seen. She's happy (except when she's trying to cut 10 teeth at a time) and she's healthy. She's never fallen off of anything because I don't leave her alone to fend for herself. She can entertain herself, but someone is always close by to talk and interact with her, for social and safety resons. She shows a lot of affection for people and she loves to snuggle. If someone is even slightly stressed she rubs their shoulder or pats their back. She plays hard, she giggles hysterically over nothing, she points, chatters and wants to walk everywhere. Her favorite toys are her babydolls, which can be found cuddled to her chest as she rubs their back saying "Goo Bah-beh." Oh, that's "Lucy" for "Good Baby."

The way she treats other people and her babies is such a great mirror of how she is treated. Yes, I do believe that's something a parent should be proud of. Babies take in so much more than people give them credit for. Lucy's demeanor is proof of that. So is it really a bad thing to start teaching kids respect and compassion at an early age?


Jacqueline said...

Sorry that was SO long! The whole thing got to me, but I'm actually not mad at the responses (or responders) from the last post. I just wanted to post this to encourage people to think about what their kids/babies are picking up on from their behavior, or what things they condone.

All About Aleigha said...

Well I say good job! Probably because the way yall parent Lucy is how we parent Aleigha. Theres nothing wrong with it.

Jacqueline said...

Thanks :) Its good to know we aren't that weird after all!

Jane said...

Jacqueline - I couldn't agree with you more! Babies are such sponges, soaking up everything they see, hear, touch, etc. I can count on one hand the number of times that someone has given me "a look" or said something about my teaching Eden to show respect by signing, and now saying, "please" or "thank you" or "I'm sorry." However, I can count on both hands the number of times that someone has said something to me to the effect of "the world would be a better place if more parents respected and loved their child, and expected that respect back in return, the way that you do." It seems like everyone know the "best" way to raise their children, and I certainly don't claim to know "that way"; but, I'm just doing my best to teach her how to treat others, and how she should expect to be treated by others. If she learns these from the get-go, it will become a part of her. I feel like it will also make our family dynamic more respectful and loving; and, she'll be able to share that with her future siblings, as well. Oh jeez - sorry for the book I just wrote! :) It's just nice to know that I'm not crazy for teaching her these things now instead of later!

Jacqueline said...

Thank you so much Jane! It is always great to hear such encouraging words like that from someone else who has the same values when it comes to things like parenting.

I'm glad you stopped by!

Clint, Teri and Dax said...

Yay! I finally got my comment issues on your page fixed. I agree with what you said 100%