Yep, I’m one of those parents. I spoil my child absolutely rotten.
But, just hang on a minute. Perhaps it’s not quite what you think.
I certainly don’t spoil my child with material goods; endless piles of toys or beautiful new clothes (because Gucci clothes are exactly what a 14month old dirt magnet needs). In fact by contemporary Western standards, my poor daughter is probably quite deprived. She has one half full basket that easily houses all of her toys (most of which are either handmade – more on this in another post – or are recycled from when I was a child), and I can count on one hand the items of clothing she owns that have been purchased new (most are either purchased second hand or hand-me-downs).
Nor do I spoil her with sweet treats and many culinary indulgences, particularly those of the highly processed, store purchased kind. Admittedly, I have been known to give her first go at freshly baked cookies and may have shared a cupcake with her on a recent trip to Perth (ok, I admit it – that was spoiling in the normal sense).
So if I don’t spoil her with toys, clothes or lollipops, then how on earth could I say that this poor deprived darling is possibly spoilt?
- I ‘spoilt’ her by breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and then continuing to feed according to need (yes, even at night, even while working) until she weaned herself last week.
- We ‘spoil’ her by fiercely defending her right to clean air, free of cigarette smoke and will either publicly challenge those who impinge on this right, or simply remove ourselves from the situation.
- We ‘spoil’ her by giving her the opportunity to explore the natural world, to eat mud and to take the occasional (ok, daily) tumble.
- We ‘spoil’ her by defending her right to the innocence of a childhood that is as free as possible from advertising (no Disney branded clothing for us), absolutely minimal television time and limited exposure to the bombardment of advertising found in major supermarkets.
- We ‘spoil’ her by ensuring that she regularly receives our undivided attention, without the distraction of television, iPhones or even the radio. Trust me – this hasn’t always been easy, particularly when juggling work and study with parenthood!
As a result of all this ‘spoiling’ we have a healthy, active and imaginative toddler who has amazing people skills.
So, you know what? I spoil my child and what’s more, I’m proud to do so!
How do you ‘spoil’ the babies in your life?