Sunday, 4 November 2012

the myth of a 'good baby'

Now let me say at the outset that this post is not coming from a place of spite or longing. The Pea is often labelled a 'good baby' but, quite frankly, the term makes me nervous. Are these tiny people to be labelled good and bad in their first few months of life? Are they not simply learning, and largely responding to our own interactions with them? The Pea is currently considered a good baby because she rarely cries, is full of smiles and sleeps reasonably well. She is also, already, strong willed. I feel nervous every time someone calls her a good baby because inevitably, necessarily, she will not always be good. She will be angry and frustrated and have trouble sleeping and want to have things her own way. And that is just fine!

I dislike the compliment because every time she is called good, there is a future judgment of bad hanging over her head. These same people will be judging and finding my daughter wanting if she dares to get cranky, challenge an adult's judgment or simply has a worn-out meltdown. Why do people label children in these ways? Surely the Pea is neither good or bad, she simply exhibits behaviours that people prefer or dislike. Can we not talk about the behaviour rather than the person- even at this tender age? What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment