You cannot spoil a child with love

“Mummy, you love me right. You love me all the time right. Is there one second where you don’t love me, just one second and then after that you love me again?”

We get these sorts of crazy questions all the time as parents don’t we?

My daughter asked me this question last night and I told her….

“No. Mummy loves you all the time. Mummy started loving  you even when you were in my tummy. I started taking care of myself then by eating good food, lots of vegetables and fruits so that you could get those good food too.”

Which led to a barrage of more questions about whether I became hungry when she ate the good food that I ate and whether she had to open her mouth to eat etc.  I answered them all, and then a happy smiling girl hugged me, looked up at me and said “mummy loves me…. I love mummy too.” (The I love mummy too came out very softly because she is not as expressive in affection as her little brother is.) The little brother often jumps on me and says “I love mummy sooooooo much” or “I love mummy very much.” However, the girl is often angry at mummy and has said “I love daddy more” or “I don’t love mummy” before. Sometimes she cries after saying “I don’t love mummy” as if guilty for feeling that way. She does not say it in anger but rather truthfully. I suppose it is because I am constantly scolding her. I would tease her and say “Actually you love mummy but you are just angry with mummy, that is all.” which would make her tear up even more.

So this is a special moment for us because it is infrequent. I don’t know why but somehow there is some sort of barrier between me and my girl whereas with my boy, we have a very easy and relaxed relationship. I love them both equally. There is no favouritism. It is something I can’t quite explain but I find that I have to work harder to reestablish a bond with my girl, a bond that has somehow become lessened somewhere along the way between toddlerhood and preschool stage.

I digressed. Then we joked a bit and laughed hard till we bended over, and we laughed harder because she said “mummy, look we laughed till we bowed down each time.” Then we tried a slow motion laugh and bow and a fast motion laugh and bow which was all very silly but to her it was a lot of fun.

I read this excerpt from an old school newsletter. It says…

“You cannot be too loving. When it comes to genuine expressions of warmth and affection, you cannot love your child too much. It is simply not possible to spoil a child with love. What we often think of as the product of spoiling a child is never the result of showing a child too much love. It is usually the consequence of giving a child things in place of love-things like leniency, lowered expectations or material possessions.”

How true. Likewise, I believe that  you cannot spoil a baby by picking baby up when it cries. From babyhood to toddlerhood, to preschooler, grade school, teenager, adulthood. Each stage passes by so quickly. I am glad I rocked and carried and patted my babies for they are babies no longer and I would have missed those wonderful bonding moments if I hadn’t.


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6 thoughts on “You cannot spoil a child with love

  1. That is a very touching moment really. I really feel it because I have a daughter and son just like you. I’m also very afraid that my daughter and I will become distant with each other. Hopefully not. Maybe you constantly scolding her makes her think that you love her brother more than her? Sometimes I have the feeling my daughter thinks the same too.

    But don’t worry. I’m sure your daughter loves you very much and appreciate you more as she grows older and both of you will have a very special and close relationship..:)

    It is my wish but I have to work hard at it. I don’t think it will just happen without making the effort.

  2. Awww…what a wonderful bonding session you had with your girl. Maybe, somehow, opposites do attract. I remember being distant with my mom when I was 8-10. But as I grew older and had more ‘girl’ problems, I found I could relate better with my mom. And that’s when we found ourselves closer as mom and daughter.

    Yes, I do agree you can never spoil a child with too much love; and loving them too much comes so naturally to us mothers.

    I hope that as my girl grows older we will become closer but I must plant the seed of communication now. 🙂

  3. your post got my eyed teary. I have the same principle as you that you cannot love a child too much and u can never hug, kiss and comfort a child too much. My #2 sleeps practically at my breast from the day he was born till he was weaned fr breastmilk when he was 2.5 yrs. He still fall asleep hugging me everynight.

    But starting this Saturday, I am going to try to train him to sleep on his own without me next to him. I bought him and his brother their own bed. Though I have been yearning to get back to my own bed, I am already missing sleeping smack in the middle between my 2 boys. *sob*sob*

    All the best. Sob. Sob. We miss them more then they do us. 😉

  4. Every moment with our child is so precious, even the angry moments. The laughing event you had with her is priceless…
    While they still yearn for our hugs, kisses and touch, we must give, before the teenage times come and when friends are ranked number one in their hearts.

    Oh yes, we better give now so that they will be open to receiving later on. 🙂

  5. Hi MG,

    Sometimes I think as parents with two or more kids, we tend to forget that the age differences and maturity levels are very wide when the kids are below 12 years old.

    As such, we do “expect” the older kid(s) to behave better and “grow up faster” versus the younger(est) child despite the fact that they are still all young.

    From on my own experiences with my kids, I only saw this issue recently. We as parents may have “missed” out on how the older kid(s) see things from their viewpoint esp after the birth of the younger(est) child despite our “knowledge on sibling rivalry” that we read about.

    The dotting and attention given to the younger sibling(s) most likely lead to many “sibling rivalry” as he or she seeks our attention. These “missing years” to the older kid(s) are when both parents focus most of their energies on the baby and we were too tired to give the necessary attention to the older kid(s)then.

    Having realized that now and as the younger kid is older and easier to manage, we are trying the best to give each of the kids the required focus and love. I am sure most families’ have this issue as our story seems to be “carbon copies” ;P.

    I also think that it plays a key role in their education too. Hopefully, we not too late to remedy the situation with our older child.

    In addition, I always tell my kids that altho’ we raised my voice in anger to “teach” them, they have to realised that it is teaching/ sharing and not scolding per se, as I always explain with valid reasons ;).

    Anyway, I believe the love within a family is always unconditional and we just need to take steps to rectify the “bad situation into a good one” for the long term i.e. child parent relationship ;P. The teens years will be another issue later.

    Hello Greg, I find that when it comes to education, it is the other way around. Quite often, the second child gets “2nd class treatment” because the older’s studies are “more important” and more focus and time is given to the elder one to teach and to guide. By the time we get to the second, we “think” we’ve got our act together so we are more relaxed.

    I think a lot has to do with their personalities too. My younger is very relaxed, easy going and more confident and therefore more independant, making him a more easy child to look after. The elder one is often anxious, worried, lacks self confidence which makes her clingy, ask a lot of questions to reassure herself, less dependand and reliant on others. I often lose my patience with her which worsens the situation. 🙁

  6. What a lovely article. As a Mother of 6 children I have to agree that the time just fly’s by. My Eldest is now 30 years old and my youngest is 5. Huge age gap I know. My youngest was a special surprise with my change of life. I feel like I am bless with being a Mum 6 times over.

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