The parenting model, Love and Logic, developed in 1977 by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline, M.D. is a program many parents hold as the “manual” for raising polite and well-behaved children. By giving your child unconditional love and letting the child – even at a young age – make most of the minor decisions in the child’s life is the premise.
Love and Logic has written about how everybody seems to have advice for new parents. Why is it that people who have had children feel the need to tell new parents how to take care of their infants? So many parenting experts in the world apparently.
One of the big debates is over whether a parent/caregiver should pick up a crying baby. Will this action “spoil” the child and ruin him for the rest of his life? Unfortunately, there is not solid research on this – probably because no one wants to take their newborn to a research lab and have the “white coats” glare at them like lab rats.
In my experience as a pediatric nurse and a mother, I have witnessed infants react to those administering love and comfort to them. Unfortunately, I have seen the extreme opposite as well. When you are scared, hungry or lonely, don’t you feel better when someone offers to assist you or show compassion?
Babies are the same as adults in this scenario. When you show them love, they aren’t thinking, “My plan is working! I’ve tricked everyone, and have them all wrapped around my cute and chubby finger.” Developmentally, they just need their basic life demands met. Food, warmth, shelter and love.
This common bit of advice in the grocery store line to let a child “cry it out” is a fail/fail experience for parents. How is this meeting the infant’s needs? It isn’t. They don’t learn to feel safe and loved by crying hysterically and not knowing when someone will come to their aid.
Now whimpering is another matter. If a child is barely distressed, they can learn to calm themselves down and this can be effective. But if the infant is overtly distressed, please pick him up and reassure him that life will be safe in your arms. Feeling loved is such an important component to building self-assuredness. How can this be spoiling your child?
A parents demonstration of love will never spoil the infant…parents giving them everything they ask for at the toy store when they are older is how you do that!