Heather Wolf — ‘There is no such thing as tough love. Love is kind, love is compassionate, love is tender.”
When it comes to babies, there is no such thing as ‘tough love’.
The closest thing to ‘tough love‘ I can think of is taking control of all finances whilst your partner who is a gambling addict gets help with his addiction.
When babies are in the mix there is either responding to your babies cues or there isn’t. I hate the phrase ‘tough love’ when referring to babies as if ignoring a babies cries is in their best interest?!
Babies have no idea how to manipulate their parents, as clever as babies are they aren’t THAT clever. Sometimes they cry for attention, and that’s okay. Needing attention is as much of a legitimate need as needing a drink.
And there is TONS of research proving that ignoring your children’s cries CAN be detrimental to their health. I don’t want to hear that you left your darling Peter to cry and he turned out fine. My grandad smoked 30 cigarettes a day for most of his life and he lived until 88. Doesn’t take away the fact that thousands of people die from smoking every single day.
Older children however, I have no idea as I haven’t reached that milestone yet, but if you ever hear me say that I’m leaving my 5 year old to cry himself to sleep then I give you permission to drop-kick me in the face.
‘But the more you respond to them the more they will cry for attention’ I hear you say. Well yeah. Obviously. Is it really such an awful thing that a baby trusts their parents to answer their cries? If you ignore your babies cries then they will eventually stop crying. It doesn’t mean they no longer need cuddling or attention, it just means they know there’s no point in crying as no one is going to come.
So yes, the cry-it-out method does work, I 100% agree with you on that, it doesn’t mean its ethical, loving or right though.
Before you get your knickers in a twist, I wholeheartedly believe that there is a massive difference between chucking your baby in a cot at 7pm and ignoring them all night because YOU think they should be asleep and putting your baby in a safe place for 2 minutes whilst you calm down, cry, get your shit together or call someone over to help you on a bad day.
Humans crave attention, we all like to feel loved and wanted. When we are babies, toddlers, children and adults. It’s normal.
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