I heard about the fear of spoiling kids when my first daughter Eden was born. Everyone around me said, “Don’t hold her all day. You’ll spoil her”.
I never liked the word “spoil”. I did not understand how anyone could think of spoiling such a wonderful, perfect, divine creature. I always felt that hugging Eden and holding her was more for me than for her anyway.
As time passed, I realized they were trying to tell me to find the balance, to avoid creating a dependency, to give and get space and to provide and gain freedom. It is sad the only word that can include all those ideas was “spoil”.
I find the idea that showing love to our children is risky very disturbing. I talk to many parents at my parenting workshops and discover that this old fear is still there.
I think people came up with the idea to justify not being able to give their kids what they thought they should. For example, if they feel tired of holding a baby for a long time, they come up with the justification that holding a baby the whole day would spoil the baby. Why can we not just admit that part of what we do for our kids, we actually do for ourselves?
Read more about how not to spoil your kids…