Tough Love


 tough love

  • The use of strict disciplinary measures and limitations on freedoms or privileges, as by a parent or guardian, as a means of fostering responsibility and expressing care or concern.
  • a mixture of toughness and warmth used in a relationship, esp. with an adolescent.

Tough love is a term we have all heard from time to time growing up and something we have all felt in even the smallest way.  Whether it was your mother telling you you couldn’t get the dress you wanted because you were disobedient or your father telling you you couldn’t go on the class trip because you didn’t pass all your subject that semester.  However demonstrated, tough love is one of the ways people show us that the care.

My well laid out plan worked …. well, almost.  In addition to what I outlined, I made a few other adjustments namely giving him his bath at night and keeping the room dark/dim in an attempt to create a night time routine and start to establish night from day.  Also, at the advice of my mother (who I’ve reconciled with … another post guys), her theory is that the baby must learn to go to sleep on his own.  Thus, if he is full, has a clean bottom and is tired, he should be allowed to go to sleep ….. even if this means that he will cry his cute little eyes out until he does.   Now, my mother is an educator by profession, having taught beginners at primary school so I think she has some knowledge on how to handle children and after all she raised me and you all know the absolutely wonderful person I turned out to be 🙂 but … I digress.

I tested her theory on Sunday morning by allowing my son to cry for about 20 minutes before I rocked him to sleep.  After doing this, he was out like a light in 5 minutes.  We again tested that theory yesterday morning but his father broke under the pressure of hearing our little angel bawling out his throat hole in the wee morning hours.  I told him not to pick him up but he refused to listen.   The habit of taking him up every single time he makes a fuss will cause him to get used to being in hand all the time and that can spell disaster.  Of all the advice I received while I was pregnant and shortly after his birth, the one about not making him get used to being in hand is one that I got from every single individual.  It seems it is the curse!!

This morning, as much as we both wanted to take him up, we held strain, listened to him cry … and cry … and cry.  I’m thinking “oh my God, the neighbours, if any of them are awakened by this cacophony and disquitetude, must think I was inflicting some kind of bodily harm on my little angel”.  This exercise in tough love paid off as after exactly 1/2 hr, when I thought he must have cried till he was tired that I took him up, rocked him a little and had him asleep in 5 minutes.  My only regret is that his father did not manage to stay awake (even through the caterwauling) to witness this great feat.

Unu tink mi wicked?  I hope not because sometimes we just have to hold ardent to get things done.

You know it probably hurt your parents more than it did you to do the things they did in the name of tough love.  No parent wants to see their child cry, or in pain, or get hurt in any way.  And to be the one to inflict tears is no easy task for most parents.   So, my is now 6 weeks and 2 days and I know that it will only continue to get better from here on out.


10 responses »

  1. Glad it’s working. It’s really tough to let a baby cry but everyone agrees you have to once you establish there is nothing wrong with them

  2. You kinda just have to find what works for you. My daughter used to want to sleep on my chest every night and in the morning she wanted to move to the bed without fail. One day we decided enough of that and we had to ignore the wails for a bit. She even maliced us for a few hours but guess what shes 14 now and still alive and well. Come to think of it, I’m still having to run her out of my bed 😀

  3. Congrats on U & your mom’s reconciliation, CD, also on your control o’ de sleep situation — sounds like U’ve got de baby under manners now:)

  4. News flash. Pediatrician put a spoke in my wheel saying that I SHOULD NOT leave the baby to cry. I should attend to his needs, comfort him so that he will feel loved, cause if I do not, he’ll become aggressive. It is so funny that he said that cause this a.m. after he cried and I was putting him to sleep, his face was an angry face, like him did vex wid mi. I felt so bad and did apologize to him for doing what I did. So, we’ll see what happens from here on out.

  5. That’s the thing that worries me. You hear so many things. I’ve always heard people say that one should let them cry because they might use the crying to manipulate – therefore get accustomed to being picked up all the time. Then I’ve also heard that other side too, that your pedi said.

    This also bothers me (see how bothered I am and I don’t have the child yet? 🙂 If the child is fed, bottom clean and he’s still bawling, is it probably because something is wrong but he’s not able to say. What if he/she is in pain.

    I wonder about that all the time. I’m really interested in all this.

    Then hell, I didn’t even think about the neighbors aspect. So I guess I need to not live in an apartment building if I’m going to have children? sigh.

    Your pedi has a point but I also think they shouldn’t be picked up everytime they cry. How does one strike a balance. Let them cry a little and then pick up after awhile?

    Hmm, if you allow him to cry now, wouldn’t your love, hugs, general caring attititude put a major dent in any tendency towards agression?

    Just wondering. Keep us posted.

  6. Yeah. Not like I’m a parent, but I had to deal with my sister when she was little. Sometimes you wonder if she’s in pain or just causing trouble.

  7. Well, what he said is at this early stage, letting them cry is not advised. 6 months old, then it’s ok to let them cry without being picked up. I certainly don’t want an aggressive child so I’ll just have to endure till such time.

    Sometimes, the child is fussy because of gas and what they call colic which you can do absolutely nothing about but wait it out. Gripe water and all that commercial shit they sell as a cure for colic and your fussy baby ain’t worth a damn.

    On the neighbours, that is a touch call. I don’t want to be one of those annoying neighbours and I guess depending on the neighbourhood you are in and the rapport you have with the neighbours, they will be understanding (as mine are with me, of course not including the fire-burning individual in my annoying neighbours post :))

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