Protective or over protective?

Jes 8 Comments

I understand how some parents can be protective over their kids, especially the babies or toddlers. Especially new parents, because I have been through the exact same phase. There are also some people who are not adept at handling babies but still insist on hugging them. Or worse, some have poor hygiene habits and kept touching the kids' cheeks and chins.

Indeed, the first few months after I gave birth to my first baby, I was feeling very protective, hoping people be more gentle with my daughter although I was the one "manhandling" her for breastfeeding. In any case, I have never stopped friends, relatives or anyone from holding or hugging her, although I really wanted to keep hugging her by my side.

After the first few 'possessive' months, I would rather people hug her so I could take a break.

Yet more and more, I see some friends, even close friends to the extent where they won't let anyone hold or even touch not just babies but toddlers. It got so bad that my friend even announced on our group chat that nobody is allowed to hug their kids due to hygiene issues. I did not take it personally because I know how delicate and vulnerable babies are. But toddlers? I don't think that should be an issue anymore.

However, I see such trends where even some close friends do not want help even when they need to eat. I am obliged to help new mums and I feel that they can trust a mother with some baby-hugging experience. I am puzzled that they refuse help.

Or even give some weird excuses to other friends like, pregnant mums cannot hold a baby because it's too heavy for them (then what about mums with several kids?), your hands are not sanitised, the baby is sick and might spread to the adults..... and many more. I can't believe I see more mothers being so over protective.

I don't agree with them but I don't blame them, as they have their own reasons.

Parents always have their own reasons and style of doing things. I just feel that they need to relinquish control once in a while if not they might go crazy. Once you have more kids, I think the parent would be more 'relaxed' and 'bochup'. Like how kampong children always run around, unattended.

Kids can adapt very well, you just need to give them a chance to do so.


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  1. Hi Jes,

    I never understood the fun of playing with babies until 6 years ago when I have this lil female cousin. Or rather the only cousin that I'm close with even till today.

    Due to the rather significant age difference, and that physically I look a little older than I'm supposed to, I'm often mistaken as the young parent of her.

    This is when I experience 'how it really felt like a parent'

    For a good period of time that I'm staying with this cousin and being a 'caretaker', I'm also extremely protective towards her, which indirectly caused her to have a very strong relation with me.

    The 'over-protective' side of all of us, has also indirectly caused her to be a little spoilt today.

    I enjoy carrying her around. However, after about a year of doing so, she's able to walk and run on her own. Nonetheless, she still love to be carried around.

    Similarly to you. Now, everytime I'm around she'll be sticking to me up and down, left and right. Even waiting outside the toilet for me so that I can resume on playing with her after I'm done with whatever business I have.

    I feel the statement exactly - 'I would rather people hug her so I could take a break.' Hahaha!!

    1. Hi Sleepydevil,

      Very good, you have a feel on what it is like to be a parent. It's pretty great to have someone needing you but when it's excessive, then you feel irritated.

      I am sure if you reject your little cousin, she will get used to not being carried around at all times. She will learn that you don't always say yes and that's a start. But if you continue to indulge her, then it's very hard to blame her for being a little spoilt. After all, she is used to getting her ways :)

  2. I know what you mean Jes. A cousin of mine hired a domestic helper when she gave birth to her second kid. The interesting thing is, this helper is not supposed to "touch" or "handle" the two kids and she's only suppose to do the housework for various reasons, including the hygiene part.

    Agree that kids' immunity are not that strong and they are more susceptible to falling ill in case of infections. Having said that, our bodies produce the antibodies because we are exposed to these "germs" and when they are not exposed to that, they have a higher chance of falling ill later.

    1. Hi Kate,

      Not surprising at all, because a lot of my friends hire the maid for the housework and not for the baby. They don't trust the maid to handle the baby or they don't want the baby to get attached to them, not sure about the hygiene part though.

      Exactly! I have been telling my friends who are reluctant to send their kids to child care that the kids are building their immunity which is why they will fall sick only in the beginning. Seems like some parents feel that the older they get exposed, the better is it because they feel that the older body will be more equipped to deal with the illness. Not sure how accurate it is though, everyone will need to fall sick sooner or later.

      Appreciate your sharing! :)

    2. Hi gals,

      I guess it depends on whether you believe in eastern or western medicine. I think eastern medicine is that if the kid falls sick when he/she is too young, the body will be adversely affected, so it will continue to fall sick more often. Basically the constitution is screwed up since it does not have time to build up yet.

      If you believe in western medicine, then the earlier you expose the child to non fatal illness, the more the antibodies will build up to withstand further illnesses.

      What do you all believe in? I believe more in eastern one, because they had been around for so long, and the mere fact that it survives is good enough for me, nvm whether science proves it to be so. Western medicine not too long ago opens up brains and mess around to 'cure' mental illness, so I reserve my judgement lol

    3. Hi LP,

      I think I am more western mindset then. However, there are instances where some babies/toddlers keep repeatedly falling sick and also got too severe, those extreme cases I think better to let the kid develop a proper constitution first.

      Western meds are more into alleviating the symptoms fast while Eastern is more into healing the whole body system, no right or wrong just different. I hope I have a good healthy lifestyle and will only need western medicines for dire situations! :)

  3. Hi Jes,

    I'm on the under protective side lol! Usually me and my wife are quite chill about stuff, even when my kid fell and hurt himself. Our belief is that the baby is not suicidal and sometimes pain is the best form of learning. When our kid is judged to be responsible and has the capacity to hold a knife, I think I'll ask him to help me prepare food for himself too. I'm that kind of parent lol

    I think my kid is handled by all sort of pple. From aunties and uncles who saw that he's cute, to my neighbors etc. Don't really stop anyone, unless that person is visibly sick. Actually not even then. There was a time where my neighbor is having some flu (but we didn't know), and my son caught it from him. The neighbor is so guilty after that, but didn't blame him. Thought whatever happened happens for the best - which in this case is to build immunity lol

    1. Hi LP,

      Great to see you here joining in the parenthood topics! We are like you and your wife, don't mind letting the kid slip and fall within safety limits just as long as it teach her a good lesson. My parents are much more anxious than us and always scold us for being too relaxed, haha.

      Well, if he don't catch the flu from the neighbour, he will catch it from someone else. A lot of random uncles and aunties like to touch my daughter's cheek too and I am not entirely comfortable as I thought touching the head or hand is enough. Maybe we all have our own overprotective moments, just in different ways :)