First post back in a while, and it's going to be a rant about Pacifiers.
Now, in no way am I referring to that most utterly terrible of films, 'The Pacifier', or any of the million or so films in exactly the same vein. I'm actually talking about the traditional dummy that you stick in a child's mouth to stop it crying.
You see, that's the problem. What you're doing is shutting the child up, regardless of if said child is screaming, crying or just talking animatedly in words it understand, but you do not. Communication is generally valued as one of the few things that separate us from the animals, as it were. We need to encourage children to attempt communication.
If you want to give your child a dummy, let's ask ourselves why. Your child might want the dummy, in which case, congratulations, it's an addict before it's out of nappies. Awesome parenting there. There are other reasons though.
Is the child crying? So you give it a dummy? How stupid is that? It's crying because it needs your help. A child can hardly feed itself, warm itself or prevent itself from sitting in it's own shit. Your parenting duties are necessary. Why are you basically patting said child on the head and saying "shut up you little bastard" in a voice as sweet as Haribo?
Or perhaps worse, is your child trying to talk to you? Children take a while to learn to talk, but when they do it becomes one of their favourite things. Mummy and Daddy talk, now Baby talks, they're a big one, et cetera. Talk to your child back. Help it develop the talent and you might end up with a child just as intelligent as you are, or more so.
My niece has never had a Pacifier. Instead, if she was making a scene, her Mother told her to shut up and punished her as necessary if she did not respond to it. I don't understand how a well disciplined child would refuse to. More often than not, Lydia (said niece) will just chat animatedly to you. She's two years old, and she can already hold a conversation about the weather. That alone makes her capable of talking to every single British person that has ever been born.
"It's cold out."
"Yeah, quite cold."