One of the hardest things for me as a parent was the length of time it sometimes takes to know if you are doing the right thing or not,. After all sometimes it takes thousands of repetitions for our kids to learn something simple. ( I estimate 4000 + to teach my son to brush his teeth without needing me standing beside him like the toothbrushing police)
When other kids seem to learn how to do things without even being shown it can seem like you are getting nowhere in a hurry and you are a failure as a parent.
Well I just wanted to share this little story with you.
When my son was in year 2 primary he started loosing his baby teeth and replaced his beautifullly straight teeth with a mouthful of crooked and crossed over teeth. He went from beautiful speach to lisping all the time because of the crossed over teeth.
At that stage I didn't know what we were dealing with ( I now think he would have been diagnosed autistic if there was the same knowledge then as now) I just knew that there was no way he could handle sitting in a chair and having a tooth pulled out.
Over the years as his teeth were replaced with adult teeth the crowding got worse but I still had nothing done. I couldnt afford ot have his teeth extracted under a general anaesthetic and there was no way he would have sat still long enough. It was a trial enough to get a filling done.
Then when he was in highschool the school dentist said to me to take him to the orthodontist. No point in going there until he wanted to get his teeth straightened. I thought. As it was at that time he was not good at looking after his teeth.
So today after his 17th birthday last month he finally got a headful of metal. 2 ops to remove teeth to get ready for it over the last year and he is committed to keeping his teeth cleaned so he has a nice straight smile. It's not the smile that was worrying me but the fact the teeth are so crooked they are very hard to clean.
So today 7 years + down the track I recieved the positive feedback that yes I did make the right choice.
Sometimes the positive feedback comes quickly, sometimes it takes years and sometimes we will never know if we have done the right thing so it is vitally important that as a parent we remember to celebrate to ourselves when we get things right.
Sometimes it is celebrating that we got the support we need to get the outcome we want. Sometimes it is simply that we held onto our temper when our child was meltingdown around us.
And sometimes it is simply knowing that we are hanging in there on those really tuff days when we feel like we are doing everything wrong. (And oh yeah I remember those days when I did EVERYTHING wrong)
Give yourself a pat on the back, your still here after all and remember that in the future you will see the rewards that you cant see right now.
It's very nice to be sitting here right now knowing that I have a son moving into his adult years who was capable of sitting in a dentist chair for 1 1/2 hours while he had his braces fitted BECAUSE I made the choices I did when he was too young to make them for himself.
Celebrate your actions. You make them after careful consideration and with all the information you have at your disposal. You will make mistakes, we all do, that is why saying well done to yourself is more important than anything else I can think of.