Asking Baby to Perform
I posted a blog this week about how I’ve basically turned my baby into a more affectionate child. Then a friend sent me this article. It basically says that in asking our kids to perform on cue—whether it’s a hug or kiss or a word or gesture—we are in effect, pimping them out. She goes on to say, “And the currency you’re using is the single most powerful in the world: parental love and approval.”
Ouch. That’s hard to hear. But I think the author, Jennifer Lehr, might be onto something.
Here’s the whole article here. It’s short and very worth reading.
Granted, I don’t have to ask for the hugs and snugs as much now that I’ve “trained” her (cringe), but there are still plenty of times I can catch myself pushing her to “do” or “show off” something. I hate to think she might be getting her self worth from trying to please me.
So where do we draw the line at asking our children to “perform on cue?
For example, her grandparents don’t see her that often. So when they do, I want her to show them everything she has learned. “Fia, can you kiss Grandpa and TT?” “Say “bye!” “Say I love you?”
Is that wrong?
And what about, “Say thank you.” “Say please?”
Is that teaching them to be polite, or is that making them “perform” for your pleasure?
She goes on to say that we shouldn’t make our kids put on a sweater because we feel cold, or eat more food because we don’t think they had enough. Basically, we shouldn’t project our feelings or “know-it-all” behavior as she puts it, on them. They can figure out when they are cold or when to eat more.
Not sure I completely agree with her on those issues. As a mom, I know exactly how much Fia eats in a day. At 6 pm if she’s only had a few crackers and a cheese stick all day, shouldn’t I use my judgment and tell her to eat more? And if it’s freezing outside, I can’t in good conscience let her go outside without a sweater. What if when she is older, like 3, and tells me she’s not tired? Am I to let her stay up late? Um, no.
So there are some things I really think we as parents need to make a judgment call on. And, like with everything, moderation is key, which is what I think Lehr is ultimately getting at. But I wouldn’t mind some other opinions. I won’t second guess Operation Hugs and Snugs, but I might try and tone down some of my other pushy behavior and just let her be. Fi.Add a Comment