My DS is almost 12 mo; I'm a single mom currently living with my parents, who have some different ideas about parenting than I do. DS has been whining and fussing a bit more lately; when he's frustrated trying to open a cabinet that keeps closing or falls a few times trying to walk... My parents say we need to give a sharp-ish "Hey, no whining" or "Stop" or something similar. I feel like this is telling him that his frustration is not okay and that we don't want to hear it, which I feel is a detrimental message to send to him. I'd rather just let him fuss or whine and then get over it. I would appreciate your advice; is this something I should let go or is there a way to explain why letting him express himself is healthier? Am I overreacting and thinking this may do more harm than it actually will? TIA!
DD's whining/fussing has amped up in the past few weeks and she's about the same age. She's a little over 11 months. I guess it started after she learned to walk last month. She wants to open the cabinets and gets mad when I close / lock them. She wants to climb on the couch with her brother and gets fussy when she only makes it half way. Milestones tend to make baby want to do it all and feel held back when they can't. When she gets extra fussy I just carry her for awhile. Sometimes she jumps out of my arms ready to go again after 30 seconds and other times it's a signal she's just really overwhelmed and I will wear her for 20 minutes or so. When she's just totally PO'ed I go for tickles. Gets her every time.
Trying to tell a child "no whining" or "stop" at this age is more likely to really upset them than anything else. They're just communicating a frustration and need to be understood, telling them to stop is just like shutting them out. I sometimes made that mistake when DS was a baby and he'd spiral out of control having an outright fit.
Single mom living with your parents is a tough spot to be. As you develop as a parent and discover your differences from what your parents did, it may cause more issues. Just explain your choices with as much tact as possible and explain that you are certain of what is normal for you and your child based on your research, conversations with the pediatrician, and etc etc. My brother's GF was a single mom living with her mom for the first 4 years and they often clashed about things like - bedtime, potty training tactics, nutritional needs, allowances for whiny time, etc. They both did their best to respect each other (both her as a mother, and her mother's position as a mother housing her baby and her baby's baby) but it has done wonders for their relationship when she was finally able to move out this year. In the end, you will be able to apologize and empathize and repair anything unpleasant that happens between you and your parents, but you will never be able to do-over the foundation of your child's "critical years", kwim? Stand your ground, mama. Insist you know what is best for your baby, and then you know, thank them AGAIN and again and again for giving you a place to stay and maybe bake them some cookies?
Sleepy, running, wife to DH 08/09 - Mama to DS 8/08 & DD 1/11
"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. " - Japanese Proverb
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