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Well of course, we are living in the era of information overload. You ‘Google it’, ‘Quora it’ and bingo, you have an answer! But then, what did our moms and their moms do? Did they not have crisis situations? We have Colic Aid, Infa Col and Babycentres and the whole galaxy of Internet for rescue. So, what did they have then? They had their elders. The elderly ladies of the family, used to be the one point stop for all queries.
So, if a new mum was worried about a colicky baby, an elder aunt or even the mom of the mom would guide how to apply some oil with asafetida on the baby’s stomach to ease the baby. The purpose of writing this blog is to question myself and my readers, are we doing it right? And how much is too much? And how much of ignorance is bliss? I used to do it for my first baby. Read milestones on sites like Babycentre and try to tally my daughter’s progress against it. Luckily she exceeded expectations. But what if a child does not meet those milestones.
Nowadays, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) seems to be on the rise. Every 9thth child I come across has been detected with spectrum ADHD. It scares me. Just like viral fever seems to be a frequent visitor in most households, brain disorders seem to be on the rise. I had learnt from another mom that her child had to be enrolled in a school which accommodates a shadow teacher, to enable the child acquire some learning. My curiosity prompted me to ask her, how did she find out that her child was suffering from spectrum ADHD. She said that her son did not respond when they called his name, avoided gaze, played alone and hardly spoke much words. It scared me more. My younger child too, did not respond sometimes to his name, avoided eye contact sometimes, liked to play by himself and was not picking up as many words as he should have. Moms and mom-in-laws can be the best guide, when you feel that your head is spinning with information overload. They can teach us more effectively, since they have learnt by experience. They have dealt with births, miscarriages, sickness of children, even death of a child sometimes, you name it….I feel they can be our best teachers when it comes to bringing in and raising a life! I turned to both. They assured everything is right.
When I was considering rushing to a specialist, they gave their reasoning
1.boys take more time with speech(they both echoed each other). Also, get his ears checked. Sometimes speech delay is caused by ear infections or fluid in the ears
2.if you call a one or a two-year-old child by multiple names and nicknames, it may confuse the child, stick to one
3.engage in eye-contact activities and games with your child. Get his eyes checked!
4.if it’s a single child, encourage playdates with other children. You will be surprised at how one child picks up from another child…both good habits and bad!
5.The grand moms started engaging in more frequent conversations with my child whenever we met. They said, even if you think he does not understand, pretend that he does and talk to your child, read to him and sing to him.
6. And the most important thing is, don’t compare with any milestones on the internet or with any other child in the neighborhood or in your friends’ circle or among your relatives. Every child is unique. All you need to give your child is a lot of time and unconditional love. Nowadays, moms are feeding with the help of one hand and texting on their mobiles with another, they sighed! I tried to argue with them. But if not for the internet, how would we even know what is something like ADHD and its symptoms. They said, during our times, when life was less complicated, we gave it our best shot and left the rest to God. I argued again, some information alerts us. And if we get the alert on time, we can start the right treatment. ‘You girls, nowadays worry too much. We have known children who have spoken their first word only after their 3rd birthday. If you don’t see any improvement after you have given time, or its really worrying you, go to a doctor by all means.
But young moms nowadays want to rush to the doctor without putting in any effort from their side.’ My mind wanted to argue, my heart said, give it a try, try out what they suggested.. And so, I decided to give it my best shot. My son started talking right after he turned 2 years 3 month. He is 2 years 9 months now, talks a combination of words and some gibberish, loves music and can sing all nursery rhymes fluently. He can indulge in long playful gazes, responds and can even say his name. He plays with others and also likes to play by himself sometimes. He is a brat and an affectionate one. Not one day goes without him telling me, I laaaaab you 2!
And I guess, no matter how well read and researched I am, I owe it to my real-life, Google and Quora, my mom and mom-in-law! What I have shared is solely my experience. What works with one, may not be suitable for another because every child is unique and so is every mom.I salute moms who have identified disabilities in their children and are giving their best shot, because no one else will love their child more than them!