In the middle of a chemistry exam at University I had a massive panic attack. Heart racing, sweaty, breathless, felt sick panic attack. I left part way through my exam and went straight to the medical centre on campus to calm down. I had this panic attack because I wasn’t ready to sit the exam. I had studied and prepared heaps but going into it, I felt weird. Of course we as adults can’t put things, like exams, off because wait wait I’m not feeling ready dear professor!
What we can do for our children is wait until they are ready to do ‘things’. Until they indicate ‘Actually, I am emotionally ready for this now, bring it on!’. Or if we try something and there is major resistance or fear, stop and revisit it later on.
Things like starting solids, getting into a big bed, toileting, walking, starting school. Those things that we as parents can get quite excited by! Which are big things to us (or not) meaning they are ginormous huggge things to our little ones. Huge and scary!
One of our examples. Lily at around about 5 months was all hands in the mouth, grabbing at our food on our plates and literally salivating like Pavlovs dog at the sight of food. So many people said ‘She is so ready for food! Look at her!’ Plus it felt like everyone elses babies were doing it so had to follow the trend! *face palm*. So we tried her on solids, mashed up carrot was on the menu. For the next few days she was in pain, her tummy was sore and we took her to the Doc. She said ‘Well maybe her gut isn’t ready for solids yet? All babies indicate those signs yet not all are physically ready. In fact, unless your doctor has given you a reason to give food earlier, say premmie or not thriving, 5 months is the recommendation as earlier can cause gut irritations, increase allergies and extreme cases, bleeding.’ Ok doc, scare us why don’t you!
So no solids until just after 6 months for Lily. She thrived, hoovered what was given and still enjoys her food.
Big beds…This is our other wait til she is ready thing. With baby on the way, we wanted Lily (then aged not yet 2) to be out of the cot. Bed shopping happened, we got a king single with a trundler. Got some cool bed linen with bunnies on as they were the rage. We played on the bed, read stories on it and generally made it a pretty exciting place.
A few weeks later we put her into the bed for night sleep. Day 1 done. Day 2, a bit of resistance but eventually slept. Day 3 total and utter nightmare. She was hysterical. Not wanting anywhere near it, completely scared and anxious. Poor poppet!! I shed a tear knowing she was this upset by it. She was NOT ready for a big bed! Emotionally or mentally. So back to the cot it was, just with the side off til aged 2 and half.
We could have just said harden up butter cup, sleep in there because you have to. But that doesn’t sit well with us. And guess what? There is no rush. She doesn’t have to. There is no time limit.
A few friends are toilet teaching their kiddies at the moment. Some have taken to it, others not. And that’s Ok! We learnt from the bed incident that we were NOT going to push Lily if she showed fear. So we didn’t. And what happened? She was going to the loo by herself, and enjoying it.
Every kid is different. Every kid is ready in their own time. No parenting police will come by and say ‘Get that kid into a bed! Why aren’t they out of nappies? Why haven’t they tried food yet? But they turned 5, why aren’t they in school?’
It goes with everything really doesn’t it? Not pushing into things when we aren’t physically, emotionally or mentally ready. Even as adults, there are things we don’t want to be pushed with. And granted, there are things that we have to get on and do aswell. However, our communication and our tool box to problem solve and make the choices for ourselves is more advanced #biggirlpanties
I think about my feelings of panic and fear in that exam. And how I wouldn’t want my little girl or boy feeling that way just because the book said so or those around me were doing it.