I have often heard friends lament that their infants are “spoiled” or “strong-willed”: either because they are exasperatingly demanding to be “entertained” or because they are thought to be willfully misbehaving (or both.)
The Bezos Foundation funded a study which revealed that most parents do indeed hold these beliefs – which are as mistaken as they are amusingly self-serving.
1. We underestimate infants’ emotional worlds, thus diminishing our responsibility to respond to their needs:
2. We overestimate infants’ ability for self-control, thus imposing unrealistic expectations to comply to rules and behaviors:
Infants are not tyrannical digestive tubes. Their relentless demand for interaction is a developmental need. Let’s be generous.