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Though all of your children are living in the same house (continued)...

with the same parents, eating the same food, they're all different and each of them reacts differently in the same situation.

To put it another way, each of us is dealt a hand of cards. Some of us have Jacks and nines and Aces. Other have Kings and eights and 10's, still others have Queens, sevens and sixes. We all have qualities and shortcomings and now we're handed to our parents who are in charge of taking this package and helping us to make the most of it.

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Dr. Furusho with child

Moms and Dads of new patients will often write on the medical history form such tidbits of information like bad temper, holds his breath if he's angry, very shy with strangers or more to the point "watch out... he kicks." So? What do you want me to do about it? More importantly, Mom and Dad, what do YOU do about it? That's the essence of the problem. Today, negative behavior, if not condoned, is tolerated. You'd like to change the behavior and draw the parameter line in the sand. But how to do that is the dilemma.

THE OLDEN DAYS

Don't you hate it when someone brings up the "olden days"? Well in the "good old days", there was such a thing as blinded obedience, which meant that you listened to your parents without questioning. You didn't have to know the reason "why" and mom and dad did not have to justify their decisions. "Because I said so" was a good enough response. If you didn't like that, then how about "because I'm you're mother, that's why." The atmosphere was totalitarian with very little opportunity to rebel. We listened because there was comfort and security in the feeling that our parents must know what they're talking about and since they loved us, it must be fore the best. It was all about love, respect and trust.

Mom's orders included such diverse items as "make on the toilet, we're leaving."

You'd say "I don't have to." She'd say "Yes you do." AND YOU DID. Wear clean underwear, don't call Mrs. Wilson fat, and don't look at Mrs. Schwartz's glass eye, were other life lessons that Mom conveyed to us on a daily basis. There was unquestioning RESPECT. We didn't call our parents by their first names. They were Mother and Dad and not Vera and Arthur. All adults, as a matter of fact were addressed with a Mister or Misses. Adult friends were called Aunt or Uncle so and so. We would never think of calling one of our teachers by her first name. Think about if. Would you call Mr. Rogers...Fred?

There were no monetary rewards for cleaning your room, or sharing in household chores around the house, babysitting with your sister, getting good grades, practicing the piano or being a good boy. It was expected that you would be caring and responsible. If you didn't perform to your parent's satisfaction, there was the punishment, which was usually swift and decisive and they had no feelings of guilt afterwards. Yes, there was spanking...but not abuse...just enough to get your attention. But more importantly, there was...THE LOOK. Your mom and your dad had that up-close, in your face stare that meant you crossed the line and you'd better watch out.

HAPPINESS AND SELF-ESTEEM

Happiness comes from within. If you like yourself, then you're happy. You can try to set up all the conditions to ensure your child's happiness. Material wealth and false praise won't buy true friendship, love or respect. We always hear warnings about not lowering your child's self-esteem. Self-esteem does not come from your mother saying, "you're the smartest boy" or "you're the prettiest girl." You grow up and find out that there are people prettier and smarter. Self-esteem comes from inside...your opinion of yourself. For a young child, making on the toilet, riding the bike without training wheels, brushing your own teeth, tying your shoes, getting good grades in school and scoring a goal in soccer and the kinds of accomplishments that will yield a bountiful supply of self-esteem.

BIG ISSUES...SMALL ISSUES

Psychologists speak about big issues and small issues with children. A big issue for

a 1 year old is not the Presidential election or who won the Super Bowl. Big issues are making on the toilet, don't throw your food, it's time for your nap and don't hit your little brother. What makes you think that if your baby doesn't listen to you at 2 years old about those things, that she'll suddenly begin listening to you when it comes to bigger issues like smoking, drinking or staying out late at night or the danger of drugs.

RIGHT AND WRONG

Learning begins from the time babies are born. These little human beings are like sponges soaking up and absorbing whatever is put in their vicinity. Evan a little infant in the crib knows if he cries, he gets picked up. They know their mom's voice and her smell. They're smarter than you think. Languages, music lessons, gymnastics and dancing are all more easily learned when a child is young. Parents are told to childproof their homes by covering the electrical sockets, locking the knife drawer and eliminating anything dangerous, fragile or valuable from a child's reach. You can't put away all your good furniture and glassware in storage an take it out at night. You're not going to stop cooking are you? You're not going to stop living? So you have to teach your little toddler works like... HOT!.. NO!..SHARP!..TOUCH!..MOMMY'S BOOKS!...DADDY'S THINGS!

Children learn right and wrong from the get-go. There's no such thing as he'll grow out of it or he'll change. You let your child slip into the pattern of bad behavior and it' most difficult to correct later. Good manners, consideration for others, gentleness, honesty and responsibility are learned before they even begin school. THANK YOU! YOU'RE WELCOME! PLEASE! I LOVE YOU! You don't learn that in High School. By that time, it's too late.

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Dr. Kollmann with child
 

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