Last night, we informed our daughter that she will go in for a booster shot today.
In the name of honesty and transparency, we always tell our daughter what to expect whenever possible. These are two of the most important values we wanted to teach her as early as now.
Before leaving the house this morning.
Of course, this did not go without some crying and whining! Regardless, the baby has to learn that tears do not get in the way. Sure, she can cry if she wants to and as much as she feels like it. What is important is that realizes that no amount of crying will keep her from the inevitable.
We went to the Health Management Office (one of the perks of working parents that I am very keen on) and the Nurses’ Station where they measured her weight and temperature. Much to my surprise, after we stepped down from the scale, she said, “Mommy, come on, let’s go to the doctor’s clinic.” It was as if she wanted to say, let’s get this over and done with! Good sign that it was sinking in.
Waiting for our turn for her pedia, after she decided to stop crying.
But you know what, neither setting proper expectations nor letting her cry her lungs out was the most difficult part. It was really explaining to her why we had to do it. We, parents need a lot of patience, a lot of creativity and a whole lot of reading.
So, patience and creativity are self explanatory. But, reading? Yes! You would not want to tell them something made up, would you? Nope. Especially not when they have reached the tape recorder status. You know, when everything you tell them, big or small, they repeat to you and to everyone else? They remember. Might as well let them remember the right ones, right?
It is not about reciting what we read from Google or Wikipedia, it is about converting this information into something a toddler would understand or would find delight in. For example, the booster is to keep her healthy. That it acts like a shield so that germs and bacteria would not enter her skin. Or something like that. You get the picture.
Here is where the joy comes in – when you see, hear and feel your lessons being brought to life!
As we entered the doctor’s clinic, she was, afraid but not in the crying state. This was a first. Before she always cried at the sight of the hospital or a doctor. This, I found, is a very good outcome when we 1. tell her the truth/set her expectations (note: more on this in this article – Do You TALK With Your Baby?) and not stop there but also 2. explain to her why this is very important. She mustered the courage to not cry until after the needle left her arm. The doctor, Dr. Dela Cruz and her wife, Tita Fe, were very impressed with our daughter’s behaviour! Dr. de la Cruz was in approval of our practice of letting our daughter know what is going to happen next. Needless to say, my husband and I were very proud parents!
That’s our experience in our purposeful parenting journey. Hope you found this article helpful.
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