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Extended family and 'spoiling' treatment during the holiday's

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  • Extended family and 'spoiling' treatment during the holiday's

    A mother new to AP was asking questions about spoiling and how a parent may not know their child was 'spoiled' but everyone else around does. -?-

    There is a perception that a 'spoiled' child is the loud misbehaving one at Macy's and the winy wild child at Aunt Edna's x-mas potluck .

    I think it is REALLY related to what we (as a culture) expect of children.
    The 'good' children always accept frantic shopping, skipping of meals and a stressed out Mommy with grace and calm.
    Yes, some children do take these stresses well, but sometimes they don't, and to label them as 'spoiled' simply because they express themselves is simply unfair.

    Yes, a child will wine and cry because mommy said no more cookies.
    Does that make him 'spoiled' because he is
    A. wanting another cookie
    B. wining and crying
    C. even mentioning it

    Yes, a parent may encourage the wining by giving him the cookie, but even parents who never "give the cookie" have children that still want a cookie!

    As a child get older it becomes more developmentally appropriate for a child to control his emotions and delay gratification. In a toddler or a preschooler it is ridiculous to expect a child to see a treat and resist it. (so move the treat out of eye sight!)

    We have had some issues with holidays and that expectation for children to 'know how to act' at all times. It is rather upsetting to be scrutinized that way, I know, but it is more important to be there for your kids (be proactive) then to yell at Bobby because he ate all the candies in the dish (move the dish away!)

    How you are handling holiday expectations for you children?

  • #2
    my problem isn't so much the kids wanting the cookies, as the in-laws wanting to give them to them! and then, after being sky high on sugar, they wonder why my kids are going nuts!!! at thanksgiving, i got to the table early and put the cookies away, but someone came right along behind me and got them out. grrrr!


    • #3
      Ha ha paxmamma, My in-laws do that, but my side of the family are low on the food selection and very lax on meal times. The kids are SOOO hungry and my family dosn't realize we need to eat in a timely fashion! So they wait and say "what's the difference between 5 or 6 or 7 to eat at?" So I go ahead and feed them, when they are hungry and get accused of spoiling their appetite for dinner. Better that then 2 hours of miserable kids!
      They are starting to notice and try to accommodate us more now!


      • #4
        Originally posted by PaxMamma View Post
        my problem isn't so much the kids wanting the cookies, as the in-laws wanting to give them to them!
        How do you approach this? I know this will be a problem with my parents and my in-laws. I understand that a grandparents role is special and that many kids get their "spoiling" time in with them but how do you graciously explain rules to your parents and in-laws.

        Last year when my niece was only about 11 or 12 months my dad was giving her a cookie behind my brother's back and when my brother noticed he asked what kind of cookie it was - my dad was like - peanut butter!!!! A huge no-no considering she had never had nuts as of yet!! He saw nothing wrong with it. Not to mention the ice cream and cool whip he sneaks her!!! Urrrggghhhh!

        DS is only 5 months now but I'm already feeling pressure about when am I going to start solids - he's such a big boy - doesn't he need them?? I politely say "ummmm, no - my breastmilk is all he needs right now. And leave it at that but with the holidays coming up and relatives always ready to add their 2 cents in - I'm sure it will be interesting!


        • #5
          i do my best to stay on top of how much junk they're eating. i say, very loudly, you may choose one cookie, so that everyone knows. and my boys are pretty good about sticking to what mamma says. i think my in-laws know by now not to cross the line on going behind my back.

          i've also had to do some letting go. my in-laws are perhaps the world's worst eaters. through my husband's prompting, i've learned to relax a bit and realize that we don't spend much time w/them and if, every several months, they get a white flour cake sugar cookie, it won't kill them.

          the one upside to this is that by the time we've been there for a while, my kids are so grumpy and irritable from the bad food, we have to leave. which means i get relief from the stress, too .

          as far as the comments about your baby eating "real food", i think your response is appropriate. you may find that selective hearing will go a long way, too