“There’s something wrong with your child!”
(and you know there’s not!)
Mummy instincts. There’s something to be said for what we instinctively KNOW is and isn’t right for our children. Have you been told by others (non-professionals, let’s just clear that bit up first) that your child “needs help” when you know that they’re perfectly fine? Have you been given a list of opinions of what your child “needs” to overcome an issue? Yes? Well you’re not alone!
As parents, we have a pretty good “something’s up” radar and when that radar starts pinging, we’re usually right! But what if it’s something simple and you start to second guess yourself? Here’s our story and I hope it helps….
Meet Kate, my gorgeous, strong, sometimes shy, determined, stubborn and gorgeous hearted 9yr old daughter. She’s a typical 9yr old. She talks too much in class, “forgets” to do her chores, has selective hearing and just wants to spend as much time as she can with the family and fighting with her brother. You will not find pretty dresses in Kate’s wardrobe. She lives in shorts and clothes she is happy to get dirty in (which is everything BTW!). She prefers “boys’ shoes” with a splash of pink sometimes and her life revolves around building cubby houses with sticks and fallen branches, playing soccer and playing Minecraft. She is the furthest thing from a “girly girl” you’ll ever meet. She happily admits to being “different” to her friends and openly says “So what if I’m different! I don’t care! Different changes the world so I’m happy to be different!” (proud Mum here!)
I noticed over the space of a few months that Kate had stopped reading so much (she loves reading) and would often hide her hands. You see, Kate was a nail biter. Her nails had become so short that to bite them any more would often lead to bleeding! I tried everything to stop her biting them. Gloves at bed time, yukky tasting nail paint stuff, rewards. You name it, I tried it! Even (I’m ashamed to admit) teasing and shaming her!
Kate stopped reading books because every time she would hold a book, she would see her nails and “would feel ashamed of herself”. She hated her nails and I wasn’t helping matters. Until one day, out of nowhere, I had an idea! I quickly put a message out on good ‘ol Facebook asking if anyone could recommend a good nail technician that could help Kate. The motivation…… “Minecraft” nails! I googled some pictures and showed Kate. Her little face just lit up like all her dreams were about to come true!
Then it started….
“Your daughter is nutrient deficient, she needs to see a Naturopath”
“Your daughter has anxiety, she needs counselling”
“Your daughter needs hypnotherapy”
“Your daughter needs rewards and punishment”
Oh, the list just goes on!
I ALMOST got sucked in to not trusting myself! I knew there was nothing wrong other than a habit so I thanked everyone for their advice, didn’t listen to a word of it and found a nail tech (via my hair dresser) and booked in.
Here’s the before and after shots.
4 months later and Kate is back to reading her books, no longer hiding her hands, confidence is growing and no longer “ashamed” of herself. She is proud that she was able to stop her habit! Because that’s all this was! It was a HABIT! Nothing wrong with her nutrition, mental health, behaviour or any other issues. She had a habit which needed to be broken. And she did!
Now I’m not naive enough to think that some people are suffering these conditions and a bit of nail polish will do the trick, but I know MY daughter and I know that she needed more love and understanding (and a little bit of lateral thinking) and not what everyone thought was best for her. You see, Kate will never do what everyone else wants her to do. Kate will only do what SHE wants to do and it’s my job, as her parent, to support her, help her find what works for her so she can grow up to change the world, dare to be different, and be proud of it!
Trust your instincts Mummas! They’re usually spot on!