No One Knows Your Child Better
Everyone always says that parents have the hardest job. While every parent knows this is true- what does it really mean? There are the day-to-day challenges- scheduling the day/ weekend around the child’s schedule, not being able to come and go whenever the urge strikes, the worries of wondering, “Is my child supposed to be walking, yet?”, etc. But, the real challenges are speaking up for your child when it’s necessary because no one knows a child better than the parent(s). This is especially hard when dealing with professionals such as doctors, therapists, teachers, etc. Most parents feel that these people are the experts- they know everything about their particular profession. While this is true, it is also true that every child is different. These professionals, and others like them, know the generalities of their field of work. They don’t know the specifics of your child or your family. Only the child’s parents know those things.
For example, a mom knows that her child’s lips turn bright pink when she’s sleepy. A dad knows that his son is more focused when mom isn’t around. A mom knows when her child is cranky because of teething or being tired. Parents also know what is right for their child- in their gut, they know.
When dealing with professionals, remember that they know the overall big picture of information about children. What they don’t know are the details of your child. If you have concerns, meet with a professional for her opinion, listen, ask questions, ask more questions. Most importantly- listen to your gut. The feelings parents have are more often, than not, correct. If what you are hearing doesn’t feel right, get another opinion from another professional and do the same thing- listen, ask questions and more questions, then listen to your own feelings.
At the end of the day if you don’t speak up for your child, who will? Sometimes, you may have to speak up more than once to more than one person. But, keep speaking because you know your child like no one else.
If you ever need support in dealing with professionals, please check with your CFA, who can support you in this, or put you in touch with our disabilities coordinator, mental health consultants, health and nutrition advocate, etc.
Rebecca Wilson, MS, is mother to Emogene (IC7) and is an enthusiast for all things related to young children. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Child Development and her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education both from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She has worked with children of all ages from birth through 3rd grade in different positions from teaching to administration to consulting. Currently, she is a grant manager for the early childhood council in Adams County.