Will Coddling Sick Kids Make Them Spoiled?


Angela Chee: OK, I don't hate them. I love my kids, but I'm so happy my kids are feeling good and back to normal after a week and a half of hell. It was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Where did my son go?

Usually when he gets a cold, he is fussy for a day or so and then gets over it. This time, he had a really bad virus. Poor guy. Fever, waking up every few hours in the middle of the night, runny nose, he wouldn't eat and was just cranky and fussy all day. He wanted to be held and would just cry and snot into my chest and shoulder. 

I wanted to do everything I could to make him feel better, but after a few days of kissing his butt every minute and staying in the house, I was getting really frustrated. It was like the terrible twos times ten. I made fresh chicken soup; he would toss it. Changing his diaper would make him cry. No naps. He'd be fine one minute and freaking out the next. Even though he started looking better, fever gone, he was still really fussy after five days. I figured he still wasn't completely recovered, so I gave in to everything. Anything to keep him from crying, because once he started, he couldn't stop. No rules applied. It was chaos. I thought, "How do I know if it's just a toddler tantrum or really the sickness talking? I hope he doesn't get used to this."   

I have a 9-month-old, too. I didn't want her to get sick, so I also spent the day keeping them apart as much as possible and washing all the snot off her toys. (My son kept insisting he play with not only his toys, but hers as well.) Then she started to get a runny nose. Oh no, when will this end?!  Fortunately, she just got a mild cold, and then the next morning, the fog lifted. My son was not so whiny anymore. He was able to play by himself again. He ate his breakfast. He took a nap. He gave me a hug, but wasn't attached to me all day. Yay! So it's OK that I spoiled him all week. He didn't end up with bad habits. 

I feel like I have a new lease on life. You never know how good you have it until it's not good. It's kind of like when you get sick and then when you get better, you really appreciate how good "normal" feels. So cherish the normal days and just be thankful your kids are healthy.


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