Sad time out situation at play date today - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD had 2 of her friends (both 24 months old, DD is 22 months old) over for a regularly scheduled play date today. Both moms are pretty main stream. One of the little girls is the sweetest little thing. In the year or so that we've been having play dates, I've rarely noticed her throwing a tantrum, taking toys, crying, etc. She's really laid back.

So today this laid back little girl had a bit of a melt down b/c she wanted a toy that the other friend had. Big deal - all toddlers go through this and you, as a parent, figure out a compromise. That's not what happened. The mom of the laid back girl grabbed her, put her on our sofa, told her she was having a time out, then marched into our kitchen and set the oven timer for 2 minutes. The little girl cried and cried, and at one point got up and said, "Mommy, mommy". The mom came back, put her back on the couch and said, "NO, not until the timer goes off!!" When the timer went off (the longest 2 minutes I've experienced recently!) the mom went to the little girl, picked her up and said, "See, the timer is off and it's okay now" and then gave her a hug. Talk about sending mixed signals.

I felt so bad for this little girl. She is the sweetest little thing. I held DD on my lap while this was happening and just cuddled and kissed her. DD was so confused b/c her friend was crying alone.

What kind of mssg does this send to my DD? Will it confuse her if this continues to happen in front of her? In DD's worst moments I'd never consider letting her cry alone for 2 minutes!! I'm not perfect and I've had my share of exasperated moments, but this didn't feel right to me. Do I baby DD too much? These moms also blatantly ignore their DDs when they ask to be picked up when they're fussy crying.
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#2 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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My child has time outs...he cries...and I am not at bad mother. :

I do agree that some comforting and explaining were warranted...but I think you can still be gentle and gently use time outs.
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#3 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see where some time out situations would be appropriate. I didn't like that the girl cried alone, the thing that lead to TO was not a biggie, asked for mommy and was shut down, and the "punishment" was never linked to the behavior. The mom wasn't even in the room when her DD was crying during the TO.
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#4 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 03:51 PM
 
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i think its pretty young to get that point across......if i even tried a time out on my dd she would just scream the whole time... i thought time out was a reflection time thing? i could be wrong.. but see no point to letting a baby scream for no reason... redirection works good for us...

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#5 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 03:57 PM
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To me, the bad thing here is that this child is usually very mellow. You have to give children room to be human. If someone was all over me that way over an uncharacteristic lapse, I'd be so pissed.:

Jeez. Why is it that some people expect small children to hold to standards that no adult could ever meet every minute of every day?

It's just wrong.
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#6 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 03:58 PM
 
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I find in situations where I am uncertain how ds will be affected, it is best to pick him up and go for a short walk, even to another room, until the situation is resolved.

While I personally don't like time outs, and believe the situation could have been handled better, I think it's important for everyone to remember that most parents do the best that they know how to do. Many people on this site can empathize with the children, but forget to empathize with the parents also. Modeling how you would handle the situation might be enough to change the other parent's perspective. I also sometimes say, "When ds does_____, I find it helpful to _____." While I understand feeling frustrated at witnessing this, remember that criticizing doesn't do anything to change the situation.
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#7 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 04:03 PM
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I am not an advocate of time outs. I am not an advocate of leaving a child to basically cio (even if they are toddler age) for any reason, nevermind a very minor, completely normal "infraction".

I think it is confusing to wee ones who are raised in a gentle environment, heck it is confusing to me even. I would not choose to be around people who treated their children with such disrespect, and if the friendship was that important to me I would have a calm reasonable discussion with the mother that what they do in their home is completely their business but I will not consent to such punitive measures in my home.

Good luck
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#8 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 04:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PortraitPixie
My child has time outs...he cries...and I am not at bad mother. :
No one said anyone was a bad mother.

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I do agree that some comforting and explaining were warranted...but I think you can still be gentle and gently use time outs.
Whether or not someone agrees with that statement, the whole point is that THIS was NOT gentle. There is nothing gentle about leaving a child alone to cry until a timer goes off.
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#9 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 04:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captaincrunchy
I would have a calm reasonable discussion with the mother that what they do in their home is completely their business but I will not consent to such punitive measures in my home.
Good point! I didn't realize this happened in the OP's home. I have told people before that certain things are unacceptable in my home, specifically when someone hit their child in my home.
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#10 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 04:33 PM
 
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maybe talk to that mom about "time ins"? She seems like she's trying to be gentle (by not spanking) but maybe has not gone about it right. If she were to take that two minutes to sit down and reach a compromise, or even calm her dd down and let her accept that the other kid had the toy first and she can use it next, it might allieviate some of the possible confusion. I agree that age two seems very young for "punishment" for that type of behavior. She sounds like she was just trying to get what she wanted and didn't see why she couldn't have it-- normal 2yo behavior. I don't think a time out will help her learn anything in that situation.
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#11 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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In all honesty I just fail to see the logic in the reasoning that "spanking is bad and hurts, but (punitive) time outs are OK"

I know I am speaking with passion, but just because you don't see the emotional bruises, does not mean they don't exist! Violating the body is NOT OK, but violating the emotions IS?

I said it before and will say it again - when I was a child (and I had both - time outs AND spanking) I would choose spanking any time! One, two, three - it's over.

Making me "isolated" from life, even if for 30 seconds, even if I could see my parents (that act so cold and uninvolved all of a sudden) was MUCH worse

Just like CC said - all of a sudden a toddler is deemed to be OK to be let CIO. Why? What does it teach? What is the purpose?

PS. And no, I am NOT advocating spanking in any shape or form.
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#12 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate everyone's points of view. The entire situation just felt wrong to me. I've attempted to discuss other natural parenting things with these moms... BFing, co-sleeping, homeschooling, and it falls on deaf ears. They don't think I'm weird or wrong, it's just not for them. The mom of the laid back little girl is especially set in her ways and believes that her way is the right and only way. That's her thinking and how she wants to raise her child is her & her DH's choice. I just don't like my DD subjected to it. In hindsight I wish I would have picked DD up and went in another room to play with her so that she didn't have to see her friend crying alone.

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To me, the bad thing here is that this child is usually very mellow. You have to give children room to be human.
ITA. I keep wondering how this will affect her later on down the road. The mom said that her DH has given their DD 1 TO and she has given her DD 4 TOs (now 5). I was left to cry alone when I was younger and it definitely had a negative impact on my early adulthood. My mom used to tell me that I was crying just to see myself cry and then leave me alone. Maybe that's why this situation didn't feel right.
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#13 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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I bailed on my Mom's Group when the kids starting get older b/c of this exact thing.

It's not gentle. It's stressful for everybody present.

And I can about guarantee it's going to get more punitive.

From my experience, the kids act out more and more and interact more negatively with the other children--often long after the normal developmental toddler stuff (hitting, not sharing, biting, etc.) is over.

Sorry you're going through this! I know just how it feels.

By the way, I used the situation as an opportunity to head to my local API mtg and made some of the most wonderful friends ever!! And some of the nicest kids, too! Best to you!
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#14 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by monkey's mom
I bailed on my Mom's Group when the kids starting get older b/c of this exact thing.
Yeah, I left a playgroup because of discipline issues, as well. I don't want DD seeing adults treat children like crap. It's bad enough she has to see family do it when we go to visit. I don't want her to think the whole freakin world is like that.
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#15 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 05:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by abac
I find in situations where I am uncertain how ds will be affected, it is best to pick him up and go for a short walk, even to another room, until the situation is resolved.

While I personally don't like time outs, and believe the situation could have been handled better, I think it's important for everyone to remember that most parents do the best that they know how to do. Many people on this site can empathize with the children, but forget to empathize with the parents also. Modeling how you would handle the situation might be enough to change the other parent's perspective. I also sometimes say, "When ds does_____, I find it helpful to _____." While I understand feeling frustrated at witnessing this, remember that criticizing doesn't do anything to change the situation.
abac - I loved your post! That is so true. I think sometimes people respond like all parents actually KNOW of a better way, they just chose not to use it. So no matter what you believe about time-outs, I would bet that this mom is doing the best that she knows how to do. Modeling is such a good tool for everyone - children AND other parents. I have learned many different parenting techniques from seeing them modeled by other moms.
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#16 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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How humiliating to be punished like that in front of others.

I would have removed the child from the situation until she was done tantruming. For toy disagreements, they're still at the age where they're learning the script for sharing and don't always have the impulse control not to grab. Though if it was one child grabbing repeatedly, I'd probably end the playdate if I was having to redirect again and again and try again another day.
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#17 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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my toddler has been hitting her sister alot lately and i find myself giving her a time out for about a minute explaining to her why it is not ok to hit and then after her timeout i explain it again, i find myself trying different things to make this stop, my toddler acts alot different when other people are around, but i would never give a time out for a tantrum : or anything less serious than hurting another.
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#18 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 05:57 PM
 
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[QUOTE=sparklefairy]How humiliating to be punished like that in front of others.

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#19 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 06:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irinam
In all honesty I just fail to see the logic in the reasoning that "spanking is bad and hurts, but (punitive) time outs are OK"

I know I am speaking with passion, but just because you don't see the emotional bruises, does not mean they don't exist! Violating the body is NOT OK, but violating the emotions IS?

I said it before and will say it again - when I was a child (and I had both - time outs AND spanking) I would choose spanking any time! One, two, three - it's over.

Making me "isolated" from life, even if for 30 seconds, even if I could see my parents (that act so cold and uninvolved all of a sudden) was MUCH worse

Just like CC said - all of a sudden a toddler is deemed to be OK to be let CIO. Why? What does it teach? What is the purpose?

PS. And no, I am NOT advocating spanking in any shape or form.
that sounds right to me, i guess i should look for better alternatives, i am just at my wits end with the hitting!!
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#20 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 08:11 PM
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I've got four biological children and one whom I'm adopting. No one solution works for all children, and while some children are quite sensitive and traumatized by time outs, others are completely unfazed by them, IMO.

I don't believe in physical punishment of any kind, ever. But I do believe in discipline and natural consequences.

That being said, a child of this age cannot be expected to want to share, and these kinds of breakdowns are just par for the course. It's sad that this mother was so harsh with her child, because it does sound like this situation was traumatic for the poor girl.

I just wanted to pipe in with the observation that children are all really, really different. I don't think any two of my five are tempermentally the same. My oldest is a firey young lady, and I have always respected her for it. She's also very sensitive. My youngest daughter is mellow and laid back, but NOT really sensitive. She's never been very needy, and is not overly concerned with the opinions of others. (Which I ALSO really respect and admire.)

I just think it's not a bad idea to remember that some children are not fazed by time outs...or anything much, for that matter. With those children, I don't think time out is some terrible humiliation.
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#21 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 09:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Delacroix
I just think it's not a bad idea to remember that some children are not fazed by time outs...or anything much, for that matter. With those children, I don't think time out is some terrible humiliation.
And some children aren't fazed by spankings, but that doesn't mean it's okay to spank only those children. The fact that a child doesn't cry or seem overly upset does NOT mean they aren't internally traumatized. When I was a kid and I got punished I never, ever, ever cried or acted upset. I didn't want to seem weak. I took it in stride on the outside, but I was very angry inside.
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#22 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 10:11 PM
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...and if the children aren't affected by the spankings or time-outs, then why do them? Of course I am in NO WAY advocating for time outs or spankings (anyone who knows my posts can attest to that) but my point is --- spanking and time-outs are done for NO OTHER REASON than to "faze them". It is done to show them who is control, done to evoke fear, done to punish someone and make them feel badly and ashamed of what they have done, done to change behavior the parent finds *undesirable*... ... so if they essentially have *no effect*, I wouldn't imagine anyone would do them on any child.

No one lives inside their child's head or heart. No matter how well we think we know our child, sometimes we have to know common sense and the general spirit of humanity better. In other words, most people don't enjoy being hit, shamed, isolated or have love withdrawn from the people who are meant to love them the most and are in fact, "fazed" by it -- whether they show it outwardly or not.
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#23 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 10:12 PM
 
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I guess time-outs are not necessarily "bad" if you want to get the message across to your children that their true feelings are not encouraged, that their behaviour is more important than anything, and that violating people who are smaller and more vulnerable is an efficient way to deal with conflicts. Just like spanking is not necessarily "bad", as long as the child is not being given contradictory messages, such as it's not OK to be violent with your friends, but it's OK for me to be violent with you (because I have authority...). Violence is violence no matter if it's physical or emotional. In some cultures, violence is not frowned upon--it's all about your own values.

For the OP--in a situation like this I would find other friends to get together with. I have always said that they way a person treats his/her child is a good indication to how they would treat a friend.
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#24 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 10:16 PM
 
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CC - such a great point. i've always wondered about that argument for time-outs/spankings. so many ppl who i've spoken to about it who do either of those say something like "i just barely tap them, they barely notice it", etc...i've always wondered WHY in the world they do it then?? i'd imagine that spanking is done because the person believes that the child needs physical pain to "Teach them a lesson". and if they're barely tapping them, wtf is the point? isn't it better to just not hit them at all?? oy.
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#25 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 10:36 PM
 
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My gut response was that the mother was determined to go through the disciplinary motions even though the child was crying, since she was "in public" (at somebody else's house).

Lots of times people hate to "back down" in the middle of discipline, fearing that it gives the impression to observers that the child is spoiled or that the mother is not fully in charge of the situation.

You never know, at home she might have given up on the time out entirely.

I'm not saying it's right, I'm just giving another possible reason for the mother's actions. There's a lot of peer pressure in parenting, perhaps she was responding to that.
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#26 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 11:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Delacroix
To me, the bad thing here is that this child is usually very mellow. You have to give children room to be human. If someone was all over me that way over an uncharacteristic lapse, I'd be so pissed.:

Jeez. Why is it that some people expect small children to hold to standards that no adult could ever meet every minute of every day?

It's just wrong.
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#27 of 50 Old 08-09-2006, 11:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting



Whether or not someone agrees with that statement, the whole point is that THIS was NOT gentle. There is nothing gentle about leaving a child alone to cry until a timer goes off.
:
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#28 of 50 Old 08-10-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpea333
Quote:
Originally Posted by irinam
In all honesty I just fail to see the logic in the reasoning that "spanking is bad and hurts, but (punitive) time outs are OK"

I know I am speaking with passion, but just because you don't see the emotional bruises, does not mean they don't exist! Violating the body is NOT OK, but violating the emotions IS?

I said it before and will say it again - when I was a child (and I had both - time outs AND spanking) I would choose spanking any time! One, two, three - it's over.

Making me "isolated" from life, even if for 30 seconds, even if I could see my parents (that act so cold and uninvolved all of a sudden) was MUCH worse

Just like CC said - all of a sudden a toddler is deemed to be OK to be let CIO. Why? What does it teach? What is the purpose?

PS. And no, I am NOT advocating spanking in any shape or form.
that sounds right to me, i guess i should look for better alternatives, i am just at my wits end with the hitting!!
Hi sweetpea333,
I'm hoping that someone with more than one child will respond to your concerns, but in the meantime, I'd like to encourage you to stick around the gentle discipline forum, and maybe read some of the recommended books in the "sticky" at the top of the forum. I know that I'm convinced that time-outs--when forced--will never do anything positive for a child. My guess is that punishing one child for actions toward the other wouldn't help sibling relationships, although I only have one, so I can't speak from experience there.

I know that when I was young and forced into a time-out-type situation (it was standing in the corner in my family), my thoughts were consumed with resentment toward my parents, not with building skills to help me in that situation the next time.

There was a great thread on here recently about how our discipline goal should be to help our children build the skills they need to overcome the "problem" situation.

Anyone with more than one dc want to chime in here?
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#29 of 50 Old 08-10-2006, 09:24 AM
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Just my perspective here; I'm not intending to challenge anyone else's or to debate, only to present my own perspective and beliefs.

I don't agree with CIO for an infant or toddler. At some point however, it's necessary for a child to begin to deal with the frustration of not getting what she wanted BY HERSELF. Self-soothing. My philosophy is well thought out in this regard, but as I said, I don't mean to challenge anyone else's. I hold my own beliefs in high regard, that's why they are mine, but I don't hold them in higher regard than I do yours. I'm not into any kind of converting or preaching. (Not that I'm religious, I'm not, but you know what I mean.) I realize that many of you will not agree, and I respect your opinions. I just don't share all of them. Many of them I do, but not all of them.

My partner and I both believe in parental control of a judicious nature. Not arbitrary or ego based control. I do believe that it is my role to set firm boundaries, many of which my children will not agree with for quite some time, maybe years. Maybe never, although I hope that the boundaries that I set are such that they will come to agree with them.

As my children have grown older, my role as boundary setter and limit enforcer has been reduced considerably, especially with my oldest two. I recognize my place in this regard is to diminish over time, reduced to virtually nothing as my children grow closer to adulthood, and eventually it will be nothing. With my oldest daughter, that 'nothing' role is coming quicker than I had expected. She doesn't need me much in that regard. I recognize and appreciate her abilities, and for the most part I step aside. She's good at running her own life; it would be a boundaries violation of my own to take that from her.

As I say, just my opinion. I enjoy reading all of yours, and just want to offer mine.
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#30 of 50 Old 08-10-2006, 10:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Delacroix
I don't agree with CIO for an infant or toddler. At some point however, it's necessary for a child to begin to deal with the frustration of not getting what she wanted BY HERSELF. Self-soothing.
But WHY?

How is crying alone gaining more life skills than crying while your parent hugs you and whispers soothing things to you (provided that's the sort of comforting the child desires)?

Why should ANYone have to deal with frustration by themselves (if they don't want to)?

Would it be appropriate to tell the moms who post their frustrations on the GD board that we're not going to empathize with them, but rather they need to learn to deal with it themselves? I think that would be seen as terribly unkind by anyone reading here.

I just don't think we build this trustful, nurturing, attached relationships with our babies to then move toward, "OK, you're old enough to cope on your own now." And to me, a kid who is frustrated to the point where they are crying and seeking comfort is telling me that he isn't old enough or ready to self-soothe.

I think "self-soothing" is highly, highly overrated.
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