Monday, October 8, 2012

How much is too much?

Dear Kay:

I have a 21-month-old son who is very independent. However, his grandma believes that he is so independent because I don't hold him and play with him enough. My husband and I live with his parents. His mom holds our son wherever she goes. Then when she puts him down, he screams.

I believe that it's important to let him play alot on his own so he can explore and learn. Am I wrong in not holding him so much? How often should I hold him?
Shelby

Dear Shelby:

Well you are both right. It is important to hold a baby alot. However he is 21 months old. If he wants to be held there really is nothing wrong with holding him. He also needs play time to play and crawl and walk around. Holding him is about meeting his emotional needs. Is he wanting you to hold him? Reaching for you? If so please do respond to his requests.

I am not sure from what you wrote here how the situation occurs. It is challenging to live with relatives when children are involved because often time people want someone to be right or wrong. It is possible that both are right and a compromise is needed. Maybe you both develop your own relationship with the child and let each other be? What feels right to you? Trust your parenting instincts. There are some great books on parenting that I suggest to parents. My favorites are Positive Parenting, Parenting from the inside out, Nurturing parenting and the Gift of Fear.

Your son is fortunate to have people who care so much about his well being.
Best Wishes!
M Kay Keller