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My husband and I have been getting into more and more disagreements about raising our 9-month-old son. And it seems like every time we talk about it, he seems to dominate the conversation. He is a lot harder on our son than I would like, and he thinks I am letting him dominate me. What can I do?
First, realize that the boy isn’t even a year old yet. You said your husband is harder on your son than you would like. What do you mean by that? If he’s yelling at the child or spanking him, it’s probably too early for such disciplinary methods. For 9-month-olds, a stern word or perhaps a light tap on the back of the hand is usually sufficient.
At the same time, you should also realize that you might be wrong. Even a boy that young will require some discipline. Stubbornness, rebellion, and selfishness often begin early. And they’re easier to address while a child is young.
Try to separate yourself from the argument with your husband for a moment and consider only his words. Is the boy dominating you? At that age, children believe the world revolves around them, and many parents contribute to that belief by acting as if it really does. I’m not telling you to say “no” all the time. Infants can do little for themselves, and most of things they request are actual needs, not just wants. But your son is probably making demands of you that need not be satisfied every time.
Not having heard the arguments, I can’t say who is right. But generally, when such arguments persist over time, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Start looking for that middle.
When we go to the beach, my 10-year-old son runs away when I pull out the sunscreen. I have to chase him, hold him in my lap, and apply sunscreen to his belly. Then the complaining starts. It smells, it’s too sticky, and it tickles. How does sunscreen tickle? What should I do?
Sunscreen may tickle simply because you’re applying it. Your fingers, coated with the viscous semiliquid, are tickling your son. Some people also have an aversion to such viscosity on their skin. To determine whether your son falls in this category, try some spray-on sunscreen and see if has the same results. Finally, don’t neglect the Little Boy Factor. Little boys find a lot of things funny, for reasons that mystify adults. It’s their world, and you just live in it.
To answer the broader question of what you should do requires looking at the problem in a different light. Your son runs from you, forcing you to chase him, then forcing you to hold him down and apply the sunscreen. Even if he doesn’t like the feel of sunscreen on his skin, this doesn’t sound like a sunscreen problem as much as a rebellion problem.
What should you do? Put a stop to your son’s selfish behavior. Would you allow him to run from the dinner table when you bring out the broccoli? Of course not. Consider how you would punish him for running away from you at, say, a baseball game or a department store. Then apply that punishment to beach breakaways.
Now, for the sunscreen: If you’ve tried the spray-on variety and your son still won’t cooperate, then let him punish himself. When you go to the beach, make him sit under an umbrella, wearing pants, shirt, and hat, unless he puts on his sunscreen. If he’d rather sit while everyone else swims, let him. When he’s ready to swim, he’ll let you put on the sunscreen.
At what age should a little boy be getting erections? I sometimes see kids afraid to stand up because they’re embarrassed.
Boys begin having erections as babies. It’s normal, unavoidable, and not at all harmful unless you draw attention to them and humiliate the child.
If this question involves your own son, explain to him that it’s natural, and that he should be neither scared nor ashamed. This happens to all boys. Give them time, and they’ll figure out how to deal with it.
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