I may have already made a big parenting mistake with Eloise by giving into her too easily. Believe me, I am big on 'no' and I definitely encourage Eloise to play by herself, but when she cries persistently, I pick her up. I just don't see the point of letting her cry if I'm available and so I give in, often doing things one handed in favour of leaving Eloise on the floor screaming. We can't cry it out either. Even two minutes of crying alone in her crib and Eloise makes herself sick. Picking her up is the pleasant alternative to cleaning vomit out of her hair, the crib slats, the carpet ...
I'm in the process of reading Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman, an American mother and journalist who set out to discover the differences between French and American parenting. One of the key points she observes is that French parents make their children wait. Starting from birth, they are less apt to rush to their newborn's side every time they make a peep, instead taking the time to observe their child to see if they actually need something. According to Druckerman, this wait encourages all-night sleepers by two months of age, preschoolers who sit happily to eat four courses at the dinner table and extends into childhood by teaching patience.
I want Eloise to understand all this. I loathe that it's normal behaviour in North American society for children to regularly throw temper tantrums, interrupt adult conversation and ultimately run the show. It is cultural embarrassment that "I want" gets an immediate response and has replaced please in the vocabulary of many of the six year olds I know.
Knowing this, it's even more important to me that Eloise understands patience. Children like boundaries, and clearly teaching her to wait would be a good way to start. I just hope I'm not setting myself up to fail by introducing the idea of waiting too late.