When we first become parents, we have this set of ideals about parenting and the things we will do to ensure we get parenting right. We have set timings for sleeping and outdoors and feeding. We are also quite particular when it comes to discipline. Your first born will always hold a special place in your heart.
When it comes to your last born however, all the rules are broken. The baby of the family is pampered not only by parents, but by their older siblings too. We all become over protective of this baby in the house. Discipline often goes out of the window. We dote on this child simply because he is the youngest one. I remember telling my last born that I wished she would always remain a little toddler.
Parents often don’t realise that this ‘too much love and pampering’ can have not so nice effects on the child’s personality. When a preschool child I allowed to get away with everything, they will never know right from wrong. I have a friend who had her last born 10 years after her middle child. Although she was the cutest thing in the world, she got away with everything that the other two children in the household never got away with. When she started going to school and discipline had to come in, her transition was most difficult. She could not understand why she could not snatch her friend’s pencil when she could do the same at home. She could not understand why she had to sit and eat her food when she could run all over the house at mealtimes at home. She could not understand why she could not get her way when she did at home all the time. Lastly, she did not understand what compromise was simply because she did not need that at home.
If you think you are going down this road, just take a step back and think about how these personality traits would affect your child in the future and start taking small steps to help your child. You cannot bring upon a huge change in a day so start slow. Introduce a new rule every week and let your child acclimatize to this. Don’t push too hard or you might get rebellion! For example, you can start by having mealtimes on the dining table. If everyone in the family does this, your youngest will also slowly adapt to this.
Talk to your child. Children understand much more than we give them credit for. If you can help the child see things from another’s point of view, you have won half the battle.