Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Which Type of Parent Are You?

I come from a long line of extremely pragmatic, and unbelievably strong women in my life. There was no shortage of problems to solve for my mother and my grandmothers (my mom having six children, with my paternal and maternal grandmothers having almost a dozen each) on a daily basis and what I learned and observed from them is that when it comes to children, there is a time and a place for thinking about what decision to make, and then acting upon it.

Recently, I've come to realize that many parents call me in hopes that there is one pill, one book, one methodology to solve all of their child's problems. I have had several mothers feel the pressure by their own peer groups to get their children tested so that they could have the ultimate solution to their child's problems in the palm of their hands. Each time I talk to these mothers I think to myself, "why are they taking such drastic measures for someone who is only six years old?"

I'm not one to tell anyone what to do - it's not in my nature to advocate for one industry or another. Growing up in a huge family, having a disadvantage would become your advantage in life. Given the fact that my older brother did not like school as much as I did, he motivated me to study harder than I already did and I served as his "homework helper" even though I was five years away from attending college.

I wish someone could explain to me what the rush is to medicate children. I've grown very fond of the excitable nature of children and seeing their curiosity and energy ebb and flow with activities that appeal to them and those that they show little interest over. But to suppress their natural state by introducing chemicals into their system, involving them in a regiment of exercises that may be used for institutionalized individuals,  or a strict regiment of wheatgrass and [insert the "hip" nutritional yeast product of the month here] worries me.

Where is the common sense parent? Where is the parent that looks inward before looking outward for answers? Where is that confident parent that knows no matter what life throws at their little child, they will know - within three steps, what to do and how to solve the problem that their child has.

When I say that each child is unique, I really mean it. Not everyone needs to follow in your neighbor's footsteps in order to get the same results. Unless you would like your child to be a carbon copy of your neighbor's child, think to yourself, "what would be the best thing that we can do for our child?" I despise people that believe that their is only one solution and one person and one answer to a child not knowing how to behave, read, pay attention, or communicate. Sometimes your situation might be simple - sometimes it might be complex; whatever it is you should not be in fear to make decisions for your family. It's that pride and confidence that makes you - the parent that you are meant to be.

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