Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I hear a baby crying. No one is comforting it. It sounds sad and lonely.
Opinions about parenting change all the time. When our children were young it seemed to show good parenthood if we indulged crybabies, picking them up and comforting them. It taught them to trust the world around them, so they would be better equipped to face it, when they grew up. We sat for hours with our youngest, gave up having babysitters, because she objected. It seemed to pay off, for when the oldest had to go to hospital, she was strong enough to go from one unknown babysitting family to another.
Nowadays the trend seems to be not to indulge crybabies. Thus they learn to deal with adversity at an early age. All right, there is something to be said for that. My mother left me crying in my crib and shut the doors between us, so as not to hear me. It hasn't left me with an indelible trauma.
Yet, I hesitate. Why do we have the instinct to pick up a crying baby? I strongly believe instincts are there for a purpose. So maybe there is some middle ground here. Give babies a chance to sort out their crying, and if they remain uncomfortable, indulge them.
I discovered that when they were playing games with me, I caught on soon enough. Then I let them cry to their heart’s content. They stopped soon enough.

No comments: