PLZ HELP ME!!! IM A YOUNG MOM LOOKING FOR ADVICE ON HOW TO RAISE MY BABY GIRL!

Sonia - posted on 11/07/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Ok here goes... Im 21 and I am in great need of some advice for my beautiful ten month old baby girl. I love my daughter to death, but am so scared that I am raising her wrong and she will be a spoiled brat. I live with my parents currently till i get back on my feet because the father of my child and I just couldn't make it work. He tells me at times that I am spoiling her. he is older and has an older boy. Then there are my parents who are wonderful grandparents and LOVE MY DAUGHTER and are soo soo wonderful to her. The father of my child says they spoil her too. Which in some cases I do agree. I feel like I owe her the world, and I also feel like I have let her done because I didn't try hard enough with her father, so I try and give her all of my attention and LOVE that I could possible give my wonderful daughter. She is my companion and my other half and I don't know where i need to draw the line.

My friend came over with her daughter for a play date and my daughter had gotten upset. I was changing her diaper and she threw a little fit because she did not want to be changed I just tried to soothe her and rush. My friends daughter did the same thing and she yelled at her and the daughter looked like she had fear but she listened. I don't like seeing my daughter scared or frightened and especially of me. So where do I need to draw the line? How early? What are some good disciplining techniques? Please I need all the help I can get because I want the best for my daughter.

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Dora - posted on 11/08/2010

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I don't think that giving your daughter tons of love can ever spoil her. That is what mommies and daddies should do. You can definitely start with disciplining her in ways that will help her understand at that age. If she is doing something she shouldn't be doing then distract her and show her what she is allowed to be doing. This does not reward her but visually shows her what she is and is not allowed to do. Definitely get ehr involved in little groups. that will help with her socializing skills. You can go to your local library for things like that. The diaper thing I think is a phrase. There are times my son doesn't want his diaper changed even though it has to be done. He wil throw a fit, but I remain firm and explain to him why his diaper needs to be changed. A lot with raising a child is communicating with them constantly. Just because you think they don't understand doesn't mean they don't. Usually they do understand what you are saying. just remember she is till young and the time will fly by fast. before you know it she won't be a little girl anymore. Love her as much as you want to as there is nothing wrong with that. If anything she will always feel her mommies love and there is nothing wrong with that. If things didn't work out with her father then don't worry about. It is not always the best things for kids to have there mommy and daddy together just because. The main thing is that you both love and support her. As for your parents, it is a grandparents right to spoil their granchild/grandchildren. My mother does the same thing with my son. Even though at times I don't like it I really can't complain because they are doing anything wrong to him. All they are doing is loving him with all their hearts.

Laura - posted on 11/09/2010

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Dora's advice is excellent! You cannot spoil a child by showing love and affection (hugs, snuggles, kisses, etc). You can spoil a child with "things" so be selective in what extras she gets as toys and such. If your daughter's needs are being met and she is showered with love and affection, then she is NOT being spoiled!

Remember that next to physically taking care of a child's needs, TEACHING is the most important thing a parent does with their child! Part of teaching your daughter will involve discipline. Dora, again, gives a good example of teaching/disciplining a very young child: Distraction! She also mentions communication, which is also an important component. Distract your child away from the object or the behavior you don't want, talking to her while you do so. Teach her what is acceptable, both in objects to play with and behavior to display.

I will add here a bit of personal advice: I am not (nor ever was!) afraid of using a very simple two-letter word that seems to strike fear into the hearts of parents: N-O! Calmly and gently used, "no" is a simple command of distraction as in "no, the dog's tail is not a pull toy; here, take this teddy bear instead." Shouted out, however, it can be a sudden, limb-saving attention-getter as in "NO! Fingers don't go in the fan!" "No" is a very useful word that does involve some controversy between parents and parenting styles, but I have found that it's judicious use in our household worked very well. "No" is a powerful word that does require responsible use by the parent. Don't be afraid to use it when neccessary!

Understand, too, that you are a "parent" and not your daughter's playmate or BFF. At her age your primary responsibilities (besides showering her with love) are caregiver and teacher. Being a parent involves another often feared concept: Authority figure! You asked where you need to draw the line: This is where!As an authority figure, you place yourself ABOVE that of your child, meaning that you make the choices that affect your daughter's life, not her. Fear can be a useful tool in conveying authority, but more often than not it is misused and abused. That's not to say that there is no value in it. Instilling a bit of fear in a running fan, for example, might save your daughter her fingers. That is not the same as instilling fear in you! It's all in the approach you take with teaching your child about the world and "fear" is only one tool. Use it sparingly, but don't be afraid to use it if neccessary.

As the authority figure you control your child's life the most when they are very young. Then they go to school and your authority is then shared with school teachers, coaches and other instructors. Finally, they become adults and your authority has, hopefully, transformed into a relationship of equals. Your child will always be your child, no matter how old, but you can respect them as individuals by recognizing them as adults.

You also need to understand that she is a separate being from you with different likes, wants and needs. She may be half of you genetically, but she is a seperate person! Campanions and companionship happens among peers, not adults and infants. If you are in need of campanionship, check with your local hospital to see if they have a support group for single parents, new parents, or a "Mommy & Me" play group. Remeber that you are your daughter's caregiver, teacher and an example of an authority figure and that these duties will continue until she is a teen/young adult.

As you teach your daughter the skills she needs to succeed in life, be prepared to let her use them! The hardest part of parenting, IMO, is the "letting go"of one's duties. It is also one of the most rewarding! : ) Self-care begins with feeding oneself, to going to the bathroom by oneself, to dressing oneself, etc. Let your child discover the pride of accomplishment when she can do things "all by herself"!

I just experienced one "letting go" example this past weekend: My 12 year old had her first paid babysitting job! I am proud of her for having learned the skills to not only care for herself, but to successfully care for another's children! Boy, was that hard! She made such a good impression on the children, that they asked for their new "friend" to come back. This made a big impression on the parents as well as their kids are often very shy around others. I think she will be babysitting again soon...I hope you find some useful advice here and I wish you and your daughter all the best of luck! Parenting...it's not just a job, it's an adventure!

Iysha - posted on 11/12/2010

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At 10 months old a baby does not need dicipline (in the harsh way of yelling for every little thing or spanking)...they are babies. I actually think you're doing a good job. My daughter still cries sometimes when I change her diaper, not all the time, most of the time she just lets me do what I have to do and then goes on her way. lol. Who wants to be interrupted from play time to have somwone wipe their butt? lol. I dont think there is a way to spoil children that young. lol...and showing love and attention is not spoiling....it's creating a bond and teaching baby that you can be trusted to tend to their needs. When my daughter was that age I just gave her something to play with and moved her from the thing I didnt want her to be around. I found a few things to be very helpful in diciplining my 16 month old..from about the time I could tell she understood what I meant when i said "no." I say "no touch" when I dont want her to touch something. "no hit" when she hits me, the dog, the cat, etc. thats pretty much it...just say those things and if she doesnt listen, i get her, put her in the middle of the room, point to what she touched and say again, "dont touch" and give her something else. I also motion for her to come here with my finger. She listens like 80% of the time...I think that's pretty darn good! lol



I'd also like to add that my daughter doesnt get away with things, she's not spoiled...I dicipline her according to her age...she's a toddler, she's curious, she's going to get into things. usually after a "no touch," she backs away and does something else. When she's older, I plan on giving time outs and rewarding good behavior.

Rachel - posted on 01/17/2011

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hey their! 10 months in my opinion is a little young to worry about too much discipline. their just babies! I cant understand parents that yell and scream at their children at ANY age and NEVER will try to understand it. I was a very young mother, 18 when I had my daughter. i had the same worries then about not doing things correctly with my daughter, easiest way to say it was I was worried about being a "bad" mother. Today my daughter is 5, still is a only child, though I hope to change this soon =) But I have loved my little one since the first day she was in ,y belly. i shower her with affection as does daddy and the grandparents, shes told how beautiful she is every day, that shes our princess, how much we love her etc. I dont believe you can "spoil" them with love, i think the opposite, I dont believe you can ever give them enough love and attention. (Im that mom thats on my daughter floor in her room playing dollhouse for hours) But I also want my daughter to be respectful, kind, loving, confident, strong etc. I love her and tell er she can do anything, to believe in herself, and I remind her constantly that shes strong, The word "cant" is pretty much a bad word in this house unless you tried your hardest to do it. But wanting my child to be respectful and confident (etc.) I also hit the discipline pretty good as well. I have NEVER hit my child, smacked her hands or done anything like that. I know I have raised my voice, (NOT screamed!) toward her (which is natural) I explain to her why she can or cant do things, I dont hit on the negative things she does much. In fact when her behavior is kinda bad, I will ignore it, because I know she is just trying to get the attention and wants me to pay attention to her negative act, when I dont give the negative act attention she starts her second thinking. Later I will not allow her dessert after dinner, certain toys etc. because of the way she behaved earlier that day. It has gotten bad enough sometimes to have to take her to her room ( I find trying to discipline is all about the battle of will power, and you HAVE to win everytime or they will run you over forever haha) But today, at age 5, like said, I have NEVER hit my daughter, and she is the most loving, sweetest and respectful little girl I have ever seen, ( I know a LOT of 5 yr olds and Im also not just saying this because shes my kid) she started kindergarten this year and the teachers tell me she is the best listener in the room, she never gets in trouble, she does her very best on her work and always tries very hard, shes very happy almost 100% of the time. she always has a huge smile on her voice and is always giggling about something, and for being an olny child, she shares so well with everyone, she doesnt talk back too much at home but at the same time she will tell you if she doesnt like something, stand up for herself and tell you no if she doesnt want to do something for a reason (Not because shes smarting off, but because shes developing her own personality, and her own dislikes and likes) I also feel like a lot of people make the mistake in not respecting children just because their young and small, i believe they deserve just as much respect as we do, such as the phrase, treat others the way you want to be treated, appies with children as well in my book. Were very proud of hwer and the last 5 years have gone by so fast but have been amazingly wonderful and sweet, and we look forward to see how amazing our daughter will become as she grows. (would be nice to slow time down though haha, it goes by faster every year it seems) I think your already doing an amazing job, just the fact that your worried so much about how your going to do is an indicator to me that your going to do your best! I also feel that with discipline, like before when I talked of ignoring some of the negative behavior and then giving punishments for them later after everyhitng is calm and back to mormal, constantly praise them for the good! always let them know their doing an amazing job with lots of passion behind the words. I noticed this myself with children when I seen a lot of children always acting out in negative ways, and their parents owuld freak on the,,. but then they would do something great, and their parents wouldnt even notice, I felt like the kids with behaviour problems were acting out because thats when their parents paid the most attention to them, but if your always paying the attention when their doing and being great, they wat to to it even more, because children love praise. and with all that...I dont think youll fall into spoiling your baby. I never had a problem with the material things, all the rest just seemed to fall into place behind my other methods.....also cant take credit for all this, my cousin raised 3 amazing children, and 2 are in colloge, on is in high school, all have been on the honor roll, all have been drug free, only daughter is waiting for marriage before sex, we know this is true because she is sooo close to her mother, her mother has also established the trust in her children, that they can tell her ANYTHING and she wont flip out on them and they do...all 3 of these children completely great amazing people, and she has NEVER hit any of them once =) good luck! Breathe! your going to be an amazing mamma!

Kari - posted on 11/10/2010

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All of the advice is great.
The one thing that I would add is make sure that your parents don't have to be the parent. Your daughter is getting old enough where it might get difficult. Nothing wrong with living with them and great that they can help you out, however if/when you move out you want the different boundries established. Often Grandparents will 'step' up without thinking about it but talk to them about how you want them to have the Grandparent experience (fun, no rules, loving laughing time). When everyone is present make sure to be the authority figure and discipliner. Talk to your daughter in the years to come about respecting them and establish that they the Grandparents who get to spoil and not be the 'meanie'. If they give you a night out make a big deal that she gets a Grandparent night. You could even go so far as to take her out for a drive, pack an overnight bag and drop her off at Grandma & Grandpa's. That way they can both feel that differnce in roles and instead of 'just' babysitting it sets the mood for the roles they should each feel. Remember that it's important that they aren't just an extra parent, they they are the Grandparents. Even if you live with them they should have that joy of being the 'good guy'. Being a laid back parent is great and fosters imagination and children who aren't fearful. But respect is key and make sure that you teach her to respect her Grandparents (and other adults) and part of having that is to have the understanding of roles.
Good luck and enjoy these years!

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Erin - posted on 12/02/2012

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its hard being young and an only parent but i did it with my lil girl and several i know...go with your heart..now...its easy..feeding changing,playtime and bedtime..its wen they start being naughty that gets rough...just remember to enforce what you say encourage good things not bad and show and remind them you love and are supportive of them....you can do it.....:).. if you need any help or question feel free to message me ...

Lisa - posted on 11/15/2012

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Don't yell at you're daughter just because you see it works for others. Of course they stop and pay attention, but the attention you are getting is fear based. Do you want a fear based relationship with you're daughter? I don;t think you do, and all you're teacher her is how to yell at someone, and a soon as she is bigger enough she'll be yelling at you, so, no don't do that. My motto is firm but loving. At 10 mth old she's still trying to master communication with you. Don't listen to other people so much, especially the critisisms. She's you're daughter. She just didn't like to have her play disrupted. Would u have. As far as spoiling her. I think go right ahead , why not if u can and others that lover her to. We don't mind spoiling our daughter but we teach her the value of things and how to earn things and save up for things, she is nearly eight now and she has a great sense of how it all works. I think if there's ever a 3rd world war and the world goes to s...t! that she will see, at least she will have that memeory of when life was good, and it maybe what keeps her going when she's surrounded by devistation. Think on it. Firm but loving, at 10mths, firm tone in you're voice and assert yourself in a firm manner, not physical like hitting or anything just in holding her and you're tone, you are the mother and she needs u to be in charge. You can be mother and friend u know. All the best, let me know how it goes. Just don't yell at her!!

Alisha - posted on 10/26/2012

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I'm constantly looking for help in parenting too. I have a little daughter and I want her to become a wonderful and well educated girl and women. So first of all thank you to all those fantastic replies and good luck to Sonia.

I don't feel me experienced enough to give you any advices. The only thing I'd suggest is to keep on going asking and asking to improve your abilit to raise a child. I'm sure practice and love will make the rest and you'll be a wonderful mother. I get some consultations by a online coach (Your24hCoach). Perhaps this could be an option too for you. There you can call whenever you feel to need professional help. And there I take additional advices for my life programming in general. Many things aren't easy for a single raisign mother.

All the best for you and your little daugther!

Christina - posted on 03/25/2011

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All I will say is that I think you have a lot of great advice on here. I would just be repeating what everyone was saying. I will say, when she gets older always follow through on punishments. If you say the TV will be taken away then do it don't back down. I have NEVER said something and not done it. I have even told my son "you will be punished, but I don't know what will be taken away yet. I will tell you this evening" The counsler said that it fine, even the next day. Then I think long and hard about it so I know I will follow through.

Jaycie - posted on 02/28/2011

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you gotta think about this a couple of ways... yeah you could have hung on to your relationship and hoped for the best but then what... wait until shes older and then realizes whats happening and hurts too.... or stuck it out and let her think that the situation you were in was acceptable and normal for her to fall into as well... never feel bad because you couldn make it work w her father.... just make up for that by allowing she and him to stay as close as possible with ot judgement. in other words REALLLLY try to be his BEST FRIEND! and that will make her happy.... and one day when you find some one lucky enough to be a part of her life then she will be even luckier with 2 dads... look up the song "the man he didn have to be" by Brad Paisley... it will help you understand what im trying to say.... as for spoiling her. you are the only one who knws your limits there. If he is not there 24/7 to help make every decision with you then its up to you. what ever you think is right. if you think your spoilingher by giving her too much then slow down.. but at 10 months old the only "spoiling" she may get is attention wise and there is nothing wrong with giving your child as much attention as you want, there is however something wrong with him being upset that she wants the attention he doesnt want to give her... you are on the right track. just get yourself going. i think deep down you know whats best

Merissa - posted on 02/08/2011

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for the dicipline i forgot to add, when you tell them no, you are supposed to re direct them. like say mason was trying to take the outlet cover off ii would tell him "mason colby no." and i would give him a toy and say "instead of playing with a no no how about you play with this toy instead."

Merissa - posted on 02/08/2011

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the only thing you can do is give her lots of love, and other things like make sure she has her bounderies, let her be independant, and dont force things apon her.. when she is old enough to know what she wants and doesnt want then you should ask her to give mommy kisses and if she says no then leave it and if she does it than let her but make sure you are always talking to her and teaching her right from wrong.. i have a 15 month old and he knows the word "no" and he knows the word "yes". he loves to show(and tell you) where his nose is, his ears are, his feet are, and where his eyes, mouth and hair is.

Susan - posted on 01/31/2011

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It can be a little difficult when the dad's not around because you tend to feel a little guilty. If you don't get over that, your daughter will turn into a monster. Every kid tests their parents, and it starts pretty young. For example, imagine going to the grocery and she wants a candy bar while in line to pay. You tell her no, she cries and screams and it's embarrassing and you're tired and you give in and get the candy bar. She will learn to cry and scream and embarrass you to get her way. It's all completely natural and normal, but as the parent, you need to set certain boundaries for your child. I understand you don't want to instill fear in your daughter, sometimes you may have to. In my opinion, it's important to be firm with your kids. As a single mom, it's hard to find time to do things around the house at times. Don't hesitate to put her in a playpen or something with a couple toys by herself. My daughter developed a wonderful sense of imagination this way and learned to entertain herself while I cooked dinner and washed dishes, etc.

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From the comments posted by moms. Most know what they are doing!! Love and compassion are the answer :D Seems to me that the next generation are going to be quite the awesome bunch!!!

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Your suppose to love your child, explain things to her and teach her how to behave, you should NEVER yell at a child. if you ask me, the other mom isn't doing it right, thats just horrible, i remember my mom yelling at me when i was little, it terrified me and i didnt trust my mom because of it...discipline means to teach. so use explanation and a caring tone, when my daughter doesnt want to be changed, i say sweety your bums dirty im going to clean it so you dont get a rash. or something like that. People try to tell me im spoiling my child. You cant give enough love to a baby, the more they feel that from you, the stronger your bond becomes. The way you spoil them is by giving them stuff all the time even when they demand it or are not behaving Be confidant your doing the right thing.

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Just remember that having a child is an honor, a priveledge and the biggest job you will ever have. You are responsible for turning her into a capable, and respectful person. You need to spoil her with love, not things. Teach her, teach her everything you can think of. Listen to her, I mean really talk to her and listen. You are her Mom first and her friend second. Good luck new mommy :)

Carolina - posted on 11/15/2010

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As a single mother from an abusive background, I vowed that I would stop the cycle. I raised my daughter with love, love, love!!! I spoiled her with love, not things. However, children need to know the boundaries of what is acceptable behavior and what is not. From the time she was born, I spent quality time with my daughter. I tried to set the example. I never used the phrase, "Because I said so." I would explain what and why to her in terms she could understand. Although we had 'rules' of the house, she was a happy, well behaved child who grew into a wonderfully witty, loving and caring woman. She is 41 now and is not only my daughter, but one of my best friends. It is hard being a parent, but our children are our future. Some of us get lucky and some of us have an uphill battle, but as parents we must set examples for them to follow as they look to us for guidance. Good luck with your parenting :)

Becky - posted on 11/12/2010

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I did not read all the other answers here, but positive reinforcement works even better then negative yelling or hitting for sure. We never spanked or slapped our son but instead he did have time outs when he was young, he lost privledges when he got older such as not be allowed to use the computer or play video games and we would take his keys (from a car he bought himself) when he was a teen. The main thing is consistancy and positive reinforcement. They don't need or want things..they want attention and love. Look at the kids who have everything..if their parents do not have time for them they are in trouble or acting out in some way. I think the best thing you can do for your child for the rest of their life is to have time to listen to them and I mean really listen so they will keep talking to you about their lives. And always give hugs and kisses no matter how old they are (not in front of friends if they hate that). Good self-esteem should be a goal when raising children. Don't let others tell you what to do.

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By loving and caring for your daughter so much you are already doing a great job. At 10 months the most you can hope to discipline is to say no. You need to realize your daughter is not there to be a companion, but your daughter. I had my first child just a little older than you are now, but the best advice I was given is to follow your intuition. If you feel she is being spoiled by her grandparents, have a talk with them and set up boundaries. Let them know you love the attention they give your daughter, but that you are her mother. You know inside what's best, don't let other people confuse you with advice and orders.

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