Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Conflicted

The American society puts a lot of value on independence. They expect babies and small children to be more independent than they are biologically ready to be. It also puts a lot of pressure on parents to push their children toward independence even when they are small babies and toddlers.

Since I moved here, I have been influence by the mainstream parenting approach where babies and toddlers are expected to entertain themselves, to learn how to self soothe etc. Since Olivia was 3 months old, she has been sleeping in her own crib, in her own room. She even falls asleep on her own, I don't even have to rock her.

This has helped me tremendously when I went back to work, as it allows me to get a good night sleep. I also think that Olivia sleeps better in her own crib, as hubby snores, which I'm sure would distrub her sleep, if she had slept with us.

Along the way, Olivia went through stages of waking up in the middle of night crying to wanting to come to our bed.

Lately, she only wants to sleep with us, which is fine with hubby and me. We like having her close to us. She will be our only child and we want to hold on to her childhood a little longer. The only danger is her kicking us in the head in the middle of the night!

However, I do sometimes feel a little conflicted about whether I'm doing more harm than good. After discussing it with a few Malaysian mothers, I decided to throw out the 'ang moh theories' and go with what works for us.

I'm pretty sure that one day, Olivia would want her privacy and nothing to do with us, and I don't want to regret then that I push her towards independence before she is ready.

6 comments:

MommyP said...

That's pretty much how we parent over here too (and I'm FROM the USA!!)! We just do what works best for Stephen, and don't worry about what other people think. He is our only child too, and always will be, so if he wants to be a little more dependent on us for a while, I don't think it will hurt. I'm not going to force him to grow up before he is ready.

Big Pumpkin said...

I've observed that predominantly those kids who co-sleep with their parents turn out to be more confident and self-assured. Once they decide to move out of your bedroom (by themselves), they are out for good; whereas the kids who sleep in their own rooms from young seem to not have had enough of their parental assurances so they keep waking up and sneaking into their parents rooms at night. That's my two cents :-)

Ann said...

Oh....never really heard of this! I love when my son cuddles with me...but when he does fall asleep, back to his own bed he goes....else we will be kicked out of the bed ourselves..

Why only kid? (just curious) Can share?

andrewjune said...

i'm having difficulties sleeping at night time cos she will kicking and rotating betweeen us and kept "disturbing" us hahaha...
but like you said, i do want to embrace her childhood together as well and not to push her towards independence before she is ready!

but i guess by next yr i'm going to "train" her to sleep by herself hehehe...

HI said...

mommyP - you're a rare gem and one of the few parents who think that way.

big pumpkin - that is what I have read, hope it is true. :)

june - I understand. Olivia is sometimes good and sometimes so restless.

HI said...

ann - I don't mind sharing. 2 main reasons : financial and support.

We could not afford to send another one to daycare due to the cost and high cost of living. In addition, I don't get much help/support here since my parents are so far away.

If I were to wait till Olivia goes to kindergarten, I would be 40 and I don't think I want to have another kid then.

Luckily, hubby and I mutually agree on this decision. I was very troubled by this decision earlier on but now, I am at peace with it.