With over 22 years of clinical practice and helping thousands of parents and children as well as 27 years raising 4 amazingly healthy kids of my own, I’ve identified some interesting patterns in my healthiest patients that I’d like to share.
Development Isn’t a Race
While it is true that there are some key milestones of development that if missed might cause problems. The bigger picture is that there is really a wide range of growth and development that is “normal”. If your child isn’t hitting a growth or developmental stage as fast as his siblings or your friend’s kids, it doesn’t mean that she is doomed for failure. Virtually all kids will catch up to their peers and turn out just fine.
Growth Happens in Cycles
There are slow times and rapid times. Many kids often get hung up on something, like reading or math. As long as they have a love of learning and feel secure in who they are, they will eventually take off and develop the needed skills. Remember that even the learning that we do as adults happens in these cycles. Recognize that it is a blessing to be able to re-apply principles that we’ve already learned to new situations.
Don’t Be Afraid of Symptoms
Symptoms are a gift. They are an indicator that things need to change, that some aspect of our life is out of balance. We all want the symptoms of pain and suffering to go away immediately but when we do that by masking them or suppressing them, we often miss out on the lesson that the symptom was trying to teach us. We should be searching for deeper causes of the symptoms that we all feel so that we can take charge of our family’s health.
Healing Takes Time
The vast majority of health issues that we will deal with in a family are not emergencies, but problems that are created over a period of time. These problems are due to stress, poor diet, or lifestyle habits that are not conducive to creating health. Remember that just as disease is a gradual process, restoration of health takes time and persistence.
It’s Better To Be Far-Sighted
I’m not talking about visual acuity. I’m talking about how we “see” the lives of our children playing out. We tend to get upset about things that seem urgent at the moment. What if we allowed our children to feel free to make some choices on their own and face the consequences? As adults, we sometimes forget that where we are today is the result of that same natural process. We must watch over and protect but not hover and control. Trust that your love and their inherent goodness will lift them through most of life’s troubled waters.