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Why is it bad to spoil a child?

Let's say for the sake of argument that a child under one can be spoiled by being held all the time. Why is this bad? So a child will learn that mommy will always be there when she needs her or is upset or just wants hugs. Why is it bad for an infant/toddler to know that Mommy's hugs are unlimited?
What does it mean to be spoiled so young? Surely a child isn't going to grow up to be like Veruca Salt from being held as an infant, right?

(This is a real question, I really do want to know why it's bad.)

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Asked by jellyphish at 10:51 AM on Aug. 28, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I don't think it's bad.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 10:58 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • I don't think you can spoil a child w/ affection. ALTHOUGH, i can see peoples argument. Children begin to expect things. For instance, if you hold him every time he cries. Then he will get used to that & expect it from you. This technically spoils them in the sense that it gives them a false expectation, and then they learn to get angry because they did not get his way. It can be done w/ anything, toys, cloths, holding baby's, always giving them what they want when they want it pretty much. But, if you change it up a bit, make it seem as if this is not ALWAYS how its going to go, they tend to accept that, & understand better that they don't ALWAYS get what they want when they want it. Spoiling kids is when people easily set them up for expectations, & once they don't meet that expectation....they get pissy & demanding. This is how spoiled children behave when they don't get what they want.


    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:59 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • But why is it bad for an infant to expect affection to be held when he's upset? I'm not talking about material things or always getting what he wants, I mean always expecting mommy will comfort him as needed. I WANT my child to know that so she can start the process of building trust in me building self confidence & independence on her own schedule, and don't understand why someone wouldn't that.

    Answer by jellyphish at 11:05 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • There's a difference between giving your child affection to the point of her knowing she always has your affection when needed and limiting her ability to self-comfort herself. If a child never learns to self-comfort what will he/she do when she's upset and doesn't have you there to give her that hug she was expecting? Self-comforting also helps a baby to sleep through the night. Instead of waking up and crying because there's no one beside her, she learns to comfort herself and just go back to sleep. I don't think giving your child affection will spoil her. Holding your baby all the time will make her clingy though so the older she gets the more of a temper tantrum she's going to have when she wants to be up in your arms but you have things you need to get done. It will get frustrating.

    Answer by prcd_n_tatd at 11:22 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • I am a strict mommy. I'm not going to give in when my child screams and cries for something. I ignore them when they throw hissy fits. I have high expectations for them and myself (of course nothing too high for there age). They know what the rules are and that is that. But when it comes to affection and love (at any age) I don't believe that makes a child spoiled. Those moms who gives a child toys when they are on the floor screaming and demanding.. yeah. that is spoiling. I was raised with everything giving to me when I was young.. then when I got older we became dirt poor. I expected so much bc I was spoiled in money sense. But, I lacked the love. I want my children to be rich with love and knowing mommy will be there. No, I wont always bail my babies out when older. I'm don't beleive in giving into your children's every whim and demand. To me, that is what makes a spoiled child.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:23 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • Remember, I'm talking about an infant who wants to be held, not a preschooler who wants ice cream for lunch. I guess I just think it's ok for an *infant* to not be forced to self-soothe. She *can't* be left completely alone without me being charged with and guilty of child neglect, so I guess I just don't see the point in making her think she *is* all alone.

    But I guess it's just me, I appreciate the attempts to help me understand.
    Thank you.

    Answer by jellyphish at 11:28 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • Well it's not so much making her think she's alone as it is teaching her it's ok to not be in someone's arms all the time. That way she can grow up to be independent and learn to do things on her own. It's not child neglect if you're in one room and she's in another not crying because she's playing by herself or laying in her bed sleeping.

    Answer by prcd_n_tatd at 11:33 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • It isn't spoiling, it's loving. As long as you teach them independence and self reliance, I don't see what is wrong with holding your baby. However, you need them to learn to self soothe b/c when they're at school or something, you won't be there. I let my DS cry a bit then I hug and kiss him better.

    Answer by LUVWJ at 11:40 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • if something is spoiled it means it has gone bad. if a child gets lots of lovins it does not mean they are going to be "bad".

    Answer by hotslingmama at 11:45 AM on Aug. 28, 2009

  • I really don't think you can spoil a baby. I think a child who is held and loved whenever they want will grow up to be an independent child. There is this weird myth that we have to let them "self soothe" at a young age or they'll never know how to when they're older. Well, maybe always being there for them builds confidence that they will use when they're older to be independent. I "spoil" my child with love, affection and attention and she's very independent, confident and smart.


    Answer by MotherofIreland at 1:10 PM on Aug. 28, 2009

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