Taken from “The Modern Generation,” pp. 19 – 22 in The Moms on Call Toddler Book
One of the most important ways that we can make more time in the day and decrease our frustration is to unload some digital-age habits that are not helping us. You know the ones I am talking about. When you were up on the computer late at night and you entered “fever and rash” into a search engine only to lose sleep for a week over what turned out to be heat rash and a broken thermometer.
We are a culture unlike none other. Our parents learned how to diaper a baby by watching their moms do it. We can learn how to diaper a baby by watching YouTube on our smart phones (thanks Moms on Call!). In fact, long before we ever had a baby, we started researching the Internet with the fervor of a scientist vying for the next Pulitzer. We enthusiastically filled our shelves (or e-readers) with 10-12 baby books and started following the blogs of 20 complete strangers and 4 or 5 close friends with kids. And some of the stuff we read made us laugh, some made us cry, and some of it made us very afraid.
Then, as our children grew, we settled into a time of feeling pretty confident. And before that had a chance to really sink in, they graduated into toddlerhood, and we were faced with having to research yet again. But this time it wasn’t just “fever and rash” but “discipline and tantrums” that were being typed into our search engines. Then, we quickly discovered that there were many ideas and opinions out there and that they could be passionately opposed to each other, polar opposites. So the places we went to ease our heart and teach ourselves about parenting turned out to be a huge maze of opposing ideas; each one with its own “studies” and “data.”
…There was a time when parents did not have access to endless talking heads or ‘scientific’ results and then most unbelievable thing happened- they parented anyways.
Could it be that parental intuition is still available? Could we make some decisions straight from the proverbial “gut” and still maintain credibility with our play group? The answer is a resounding “yes.” We can throw out the notion that in order to make parenting choices, we have to back up each of our decisions with “Well, studies have shown…” Let’s ask a different question. What does my common sense tell me? Can I stand up for the decisions that I make completely on their own merit?
You are the one who has watched your children interact and grow. You know when they took their first step, how wide their grin can stretch, the exact color of their sparkling eyes, and the challenges they face. You have more information about your child than any scientist, anywhere, ever did. So you are, by far, even without the input of the entire ‘World Wide Web,’ best able to make choices on your child’s behalf.
Don’t be frightened. Give it a try. You may find that it makes life easier and gives you a surprising amount of confidence. Then, before you know it, the power of the phrase “studies have shown” will no longer trump your inner parent. 😊
Laura Hunter LPN and
Jennifer Walker RN BSN