What’s the word...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It starts with “T” and makes parents want to pull their hair out with frustration and desperation and it’s a phase of a child’s physical development...

Toilet training, tantrums, terrible two or terrible threes, the word I was thinking of was teething – yes teething, does anyone remember that phase?

It was terrible, the crying, the night waking, the runny nose or number twos that accompanied that phase. We forget as parents... every stage we are at with our children brings with it a different phase or set of behaviour but it goes away eventually...hopefully....

So this is the lovely thing about parenting. Parenting can mean we have these things in common with other parents ie. teething or sleepless nights with our babies, then separation anxiety and tantrums with our toddlers, homework struggles with our primary children. The list of commonalities and common experiences goes on and on through each stage of our child’s development and life.

I loved doing this week’s word challenge on Parent with Potential’s Facebook page. It demonstrated an important thing for me that phases are just that, they are phases and each phase of our child’s development is marked with new behaviour, new struggles and new successes.

It demonstrated to me that we lose track of what parent's experience. As we move on from one phase of development to the next our parenting needs change and so we also forget what “it” (that phase when) was like because thankfully it was a phase and that phase gets replaced with another. Sometimes we look back and think what was I complaining about, teething or toilet training was nothing like what I am going through with my child now.... Let us not forget and let us empathise with those experiencing difficulties in the present moment whatever your challenge may be.

Why then do we sometimes feel alone? Do you still feel alone even with the computer age and parent forums etc? What is your challenge at the moment? And if you have passed a phase someone else is going through remember try not to say "oh, it's just a phase" unless that really helped when you were going through it?

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