I always thought nothing could be better than a cuddly child who wants snuggles all the time. Little did I know my son was going to use ‘mummy cuddles’ at every opportunity he could to try to manipulate me! They’re really not as soft as we think, these toddlers, are they?? They are absolutely willing to use what really hurts to get their own way; their cuteness. It’s like a survival technique for them.
It was really cute when J used to ask for mummy cuddles, then he started asking for them at times when he wanted his own way, now he just asks for them all the time whatever the situation. You might think I sound like a heartless cow, moaning that my child loves me too much, but have you ever tried to function as a human and as a parent with a child wrapped around your neck all day every day?? It’s not as easy as you might think, especially as he is now a boy and not a baby, I must remember to limit his food or my back will break under his weight soon!!
On a serious note, as I have noticed the manipulation more and more, I have had to start declining cuddles, which really does break my heart. But J has started to ask for them when he is misbehaving and throwing a tantrum. I don’t completely decline, but I have to tell him that I will cuddle him when he has calmed down and stopped having a strop. It’s not because I don’t want him to feel loved, but if your child was asking for sweets when they were being silly you’d say no wouldn’t you? It’s the same thing, his way of trying to regain control, as toddlers do.
It’s really difficult to get the balance right between being a firm mum trying to teach her son how to behave like a good boy and being a loving mum and giving him what he needs. If he asks for cuddles when there’s no strop, I will do my best to give him one, although on occasion I have to tell him no, when I’m cooking or doing the hoover or something. Again, not because that is more important than him, but I have to teach him that he can’t always get what he wants at that exact moment in time.
I write this realising how lucky I am to have such an affectionate toddler and don’t take his cuddles for granted at all, but when you get asked for cuddles probably every 5 minutes, it can be pretty difficult to give them every single time. I know some parents would give anything for the amount of affection I get from my son and I will always do my best to give him the love and affection he needs, I just need to make sure I get the rest of this parenting malarkey right at the same time. But then isn’t that the case with every aspect of parenting?!