How to Avoid Spoiling Your Child

Development of the "Spiritual Embryo."

The following commentary, regarding the nature of the child, includes bits of advice in raising a baby/toddler/preschooler 0-6 yrs. It is based on my current understanding of Montessori principles through working with preschool aged children in both home and school settings.

What is a child? A child is joy of life incarnate. He is love incarnate. He is perfect. He comes to us from the arms of the angels with a smile, a nod and kiss blown to us from heaven.

A child is a fresh start. A very fresh start. And he is yours… Well, only for a while. But, for now, he is small and needs constant tending to. Even a second of looking away can be tragic. So, never look away... until he is sleeping. And when he is awake, spot him as though you are a gymnastics coach. Children need to be "spotted" as they grow… all the way into adulthood. So get used to being attentive.

A child is a sponge absorbing everything around him. He will absorb what is good about you and what is bad. But, he will do it according to a mysterious process of self-choosing. Some things he will pick up, some things he will not. To be on the safe side, perfect yourself. Let him have access to only the good things! You have your issues... we all do, but now is a good time to resolve them. And happily, having to deal with our children gives us not only a reason to discover and tackle our weaknesses, but the opportunity, as well!

And protect yourself... avoid creating a spoiled, controlling brat. Spoiling has become more widespread in recent years. In the not so distant past, parents did not have such a problem, but in my view, they were overly reserved and undemonstrative. In the modern era, some parents are too close, to the point of being overly familiar. Parents need to assume an air of authority in setting boundaries so that their children will be free to explore their world and adapt to it. Love is a given and should be natural. No need to over-do it or under-do it.

Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid "catering" to your child.

1. Do not give in to the blackmailing efforts of a crying child. When a parent says NO, the parent MUST stand behind it. It is so easy to give in to the demands of a crying or whining child, but you must be consistent and mean what you say. A child who is given what he wants and allowed to feel as though he controls the show, actually feels insecure. After all, he was just born!

2. Get into the habit of not giving the child what he wants at the time of demand. Establish the reality that YOU decide if and when he is to have it. (Wait at least five minutes or so.)

3. Do not say "okay?" at the end of your commands or requests. Find a gentle but authoritative manner. Use " I " as in " I would like you to…"

In many ways toughness does comes into play when a baby is very young… But, YOU are the one who needs to be tough: with yourself. You must become very realistic. You must know when to give and when not to give. You need strength to consistently to stand behind your NOs. (Don't even say NO if you don't have the energy and strength to maintain such a position.) You need to be attentive. You need to be observant and objective. It is not, I repeat NOT about YOU anymore. If it is, you will miss the cues, you will flounder, you will falter and so will your child because you will fail to discover appropriate goals, (based on the CHILD'S innate interests and intrinsic motivations,) and opportunities. You will lose touch with your child.*

*Note: After your child's psyche is formed you can have more of yourself back, as one should always stay in touch with one's hopes, dreams and ambitions. Just put them on hold until the child is in elementary school. Of course, this is the ideal. If one must continue working, a good Montessori school is a good substitute for the home environment. Dr. Maria Montessori's schools were specifically designed to institutionalize the home.

Onward.

The child's entire body was formed in the womb. He has it all. Your good looks and your spouse's intelligence. Thank God you married well. Thank God you married someone clean of drugs and substances. Thank God you had a good diet and good prenatal care. And thank God the genes were conducive to a perfectly formed little alien... I mean human. And if circumstances were not so perfect and your child was not perfectly formed, his soul is perfect. Souls are perfect like that. Thank God for souls.

And about that soul. The child's soul is incarnating into his wonderful vehicle/body via the brain and senses. He is adapting to his environment and programming his inner computer/brain. He is storing data and creating connections to that stored data: second by second, hour by hour, day by day. The child is cross referencing, absorbing, incorporating, building, constructing and adapting to so much information, that an adult would crash. Not the child. He continues his work creating mind-body-soul connections while sleeping, eating, playing, feeling, sensing, crying, pooping and peeing. All the while, his liver, kidneys and respiratory systems working perfectly.

Keep the organs working perfectly through good diet and health. First, good mother's milk (or substitute) and then good food. Good food consists of pureed vegetables, grains and legumes. Babies don't need junk foods at all. They need the most wholesome easy to digest foods possible. The evolution/perfecting of the human body occurred for centuries due to the partaking of natural foods. Not processed. Then add all the benefits of sunlight, fresh air, cuddling, soothing, nurturing... Enough said.

Now, Back to the Topic of this Article: The Psyche of the child and how it develops.

The psyche of the child is the spiritual aspect of the child. That is to say, the force operating within the child. This force is invisible. It is dynamic. It is intelligent. It is joyful. And we must allow this force to operate freely within the child. This force directs the sub-conscious growth of the child's psyche. This growth and development will happen just fine if we allow it. For instance, we did not open the womb to tell the child how to grow his toes or nose. No, we allowed the gestation process to occur uninterrupted the entire nine months. (Well, no, we didn't have a choice.)

Repeating: We allowed nature to form the body of the child within the womb. We must do the same for the development of the child's mind and personality. The whole child must be taken inconsideration: body, mind and (roll the drums…) the soul. The making of a child is a holistic endeavor and is being undertaken by nature. We must know how to cooperate with nature. Conscious cooperation is something we must learn, unless we have a lot of common sense.

But, let's say one doesn't have common sense and attempts to influence his or her child in a particular direction. In the past, some wanted to teach their very young babies how to read. (Glen Doman wrote a book, Teaching Your Baby How To Read.) I believe this is bombarding the outer consciousness of the child who should be working from within. Why hold up clumsy flash cards when your baby is watching your lips, your eyes, your voice; absorbing subtle nuances you aren't even aware of. He is absorbing cues you could never teach him on a conscious level. He is absorbing things based on mysterious operations within the subconscious of the child. Parents must allow this subconscious absorbing to occur. We must stand back and observe. Help when it is required, but put the baby down and do your work so he can do his. And he will do it. (As you do your work around the house, you must keep your eye on your child. This is why evolution has blessed mothers with the awesome ability to multitask.) It is easy when they are infants, as you can put them down near you. Toddlers, not so much.

Toddlers must have an environment which is not only safe, but rich in activities. Low shelves with interesting items to manipulate is best. A word of caution: don't feel obligated to entertain your baby. He must entertain himself through working in the environment you have created for him. If you constantly entertain him, he will absorb your behavior into his reality and expect it as part of life. We can assist nature, but not deviate it from its natural course of development. By giving the child freedom to work in an environment which is conducive to the natural urge to manipulate and explore objects, we can facilitate the development of the child's natural abilities and propensities. We can enable mastery of skills such as stacking, pouring and filling by supplying appropriate activities. Then, observe what he likes. Hint: it is rarely merely playing with toys!

And commit to learning, through keen observation of your child, when to step in and when to step out.










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26 comments

wrenchBiscuit profile image

wrenchBiscuit 18 months ago

Great article. I especially like "... And thank God the genes were conducive to a perfectly formed little alien... I mean human.." I wish they all could be California girls.


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 18 months ago from LA Author

California Girl aliens? Ha ha..

I got one of those. great big blue alien eyes.. way smarter than me…

where did she come from.. still trying to figure that out.

PS you are reminding me that I need to to get back to you regarding your hub on music.

Thanks for stopping by.


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 18 months ago

... a child is the eternal spiritual being having soul sent into the body by the Father of Lights, to accomplish a unique mission on the earth by living righteously so that his name would remain written in the Book of Life.


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 18 months ago

... a child is the spiritual being with soul, having earthly body sent by the Father of lights to fulfill a unique mission ( unlike other person), designed to live righteously so that his name will remain written in the Book of Life.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 18 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Two books that supplement the advice in this article are FREEDOM NOT LICENSE by A. S. Neill (now online in pdf) and BRAIN RULES by John Medina, especially the last chapter, about how babies explore the world.

Up, Useful and Interesting. I especially like your last three paragraphs.


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 18 months ago from LA Author

B. Leekly

My father gave me Brain Rules and told me to read it cover to cover. So, of course, I have never opened it. Thanks for inspiring me and reminding me. I will read it the way I read most books. Last page to first page, skipping around finding what interests me.


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 18 months ago from LA Author

Hi Michael. Jesus put a huge protective aura around children during his ministries. He revealed how precious each and every child is. I am quite sure our love for our children is what is holding this planet together.


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 18 months ago from LA Author

FREEDOM NOT LICENSE by A. S. Neill

I will definitely find this book.

Thank you so much.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 18 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Right on -- Such great advice and words of wisdom. I am just finishing up as stay at home dad, we start kindergarten in August and I give praise to God every day that I was able to be here growing with my little alien. I like to think he was made perfect and I have done a good job not messing it up. Thanks for a really good hub.


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 18 months ago from LA Author

Lol!!!


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 18 months ago from LA Author

Eric:

Childhood is a very happy time.

Enjoy the process!

You and your child are both very lucky to have each other!


Charito1962 profile image

Charito1962 16 months ago from Manila, Philippines

Hello, Ms. Kathryn! What a great hub about child-rearing!

Yes, I agree with you that we parents play a vital role in raising our young children to be good adults later on. As you said, "We must stand back and observe. Help when it is required..." Perfectly said!

I hope that parents all over the world will realize that children are God's gift to them. They must truly form them to be good and responsible citizens of society.


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 16 months ago from LA Author

Why, Thank You so much!!

The situation is like this:

Children are like rose bushes. We need to water and fertilize them ...

and also pull out the weeds which grow around them,

so that they can grow in their own unique beautiful way.


wrenchBiscuit profile image

wrenchBiscuit 16 months ago

Nice article Kathryn. I have enriched your life with thoughtful commentary and answered many of your questions. And so, I must ask. Why will the human use the milk of the cow instead of human milk? Why? As far as I know, we are the only species that does this. How is it that we consider the milk of a faceless , unknown cow, to be healthier, and overall better for a child than human milk?


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 16 months ago from LA Author

Dear Ronnie wrenchBiscuit:

I agree. Milk is for baby cows only. My ear doctor told me drinking milk and consuming too many milk products is not good for adults either, as it can contribute (eventually, with age) to a loss of hearing. Apparently milk fat can clog the arteries around the ears. Yikes for musicians!

I have always followed a macrobiotic diet. Some people think it is too strict. I have benefitted. I eat for energy.


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 16 months ago from LA Author

Actually, I think it will be discovered, although at this point, few agree, that human babies do need to nurse and do need human milk exclusively, rather than cow's milk or formula in the beginning of their lives. They do need the face of their mother beaming down upon them as they nurse in absolute comfort and bliss. This bliss is vital for their psychological health/development.

I really believe children should nurse for at least two and a half years. But not beyond three.


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 16 months ago from LA Author

Of course, it is also true that many mothers believe that breast milk and nursing are vital. Their children are the lucky ones. Montessori revealed that there are sensitive periods in a child's life when certain needs must be met.

The Secret of Childhood and the Absorbent Mind are great Books by Dr. Montessori.


wrenchBiscuit profile image

wrenchBiscuit 16 months ago

Thanks Kathryn! Your description makes me want to relive those tender moments of comfort and bliss.


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 16 months ago from LA Author

:-) It is blissful for mothers too. Well, not all ... but I would bet, most.

It seems that love must be a very tangible, concrete thing in the formative years.


Evane profile image

Evane 6 months ago

Oh such great article! Very helpful in raising a child.


David Ortega profile image

David Ortega 4 months ago from Altoona, Iowa

Nice job, Kathryn. And nice job defending large families as you did in your commentary in the hub article by gmwilliams. Feel free to peruse my article of what it's like to raise 8 children. I did not address the financial sacrifices but rather the joy and love which cannot be measured by money.

http://hubpages.com/family/Whats-It-Like-Raising-8...


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 4 months ago from LA Author

Thanks for sharing your link, David!

The more kids in the family, the more they help each other including mom/dad! And the more they learn on so many levels.

The child's psyche is being formed during the first six years. We contribute to it's formation as we are in the child's environment and as we enrich his environment. This process of formation occurs on an unconscious level within the mind of the child and we can help him develop the skills he will need, but we need to respect the process unfolding within. When we bombard the child with too much or inappropriate stimulation we can actually deviate the child from his normal course of development. This deviation if not caught early can become permanent.

There is always healing, but it will be a tedious process to redirect the attention of the child when it has been pulled away from an inward orientation. I know this understanding is very hard to comprehend, but I will be restating and repeating it as often as I can until finally someone who needs it catches it and changes his parenting approach, becoming more quiet and observing … shhhh….

BFN


David Ortega profile image

David Ortega 4 months ago from Altoona, Iowa

Thank you! Very affirming. One of our favorite books is, "All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." Flush, brush and use Crayons!


SakinaNasir53 profile image

SakinaNasir53 8 weeks ago from Kuwait

Great hub Kathryn! You have an amazing job writing this. ☺ God bless you!


Kathryn L Hill profile image

Kathryn L Hill 8 weeks ago from LA Author

Thank you! Many people just don't get what I am trying to impart. Its too subtle, unfortunately here in US. :-(

Boundaries which promote freedom are vital in childhood. Children need freedom (all children universally) to grow and form themselves. The principle of freedom within boundaries can be applied to so many things, such as politics and education ... and swimming pools. (I used to be a YMCA pool lifeguard.)

In the 60's, we kids had open-gym and open-swim on friday nights. All of the gymnastics equipment was set up in the gym and there was a coach on hand to help anyone who needed it. We all became very good at gymnastics and swimming without formal classes ... just freedom and instruction as needed in the gym and free swim in the pool. But, we all cooperated in taking turns and following the rules of safety. We were willing to listen/respect the adults in charge because they respected and helped us!

I see so many adults these days in daycares and school settings just being overbearing and I hate to say it but, bossy!

Children are born with the desire to please the adult in charge. I recently subbed at a school aged day care where all the ten year olds had totally lost the will to please. As David Bowie sang, When the child goes bad its no cause for consolation…"

We need to to build a relationship with the child, just as those who work with animals build a relationship with them. For animals and children, (and adults too, of course,) kindness, encouragement and rewards work better than impatience, anger, commands and punishments!

Thanks for your interest. :)


SakinaNasir53 profile image

SakinaNasir53 8 weeks ago from Kuwait

Yeah, I agree. Umm, a correction in my comment made above :You have done an amazing job writing this. ☺

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