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Monday, 19 November 2012

YOU are the ONLY expert on YOUR child!

Something I feel very strongly about is that mothers (and fathers!) are the only expert on their own child.  In our case, I am the one that stays home with our kids, so I am going to use mothers non-judgementally for the rest of this post, and I assure you that fathers are experts too!

Mothers are the only ones who see their children in their own environment on a daily basis.  We are the only ones who see how a child behaves and reacts in a "normal" environment.  We know instinctively when our child is sick, when they are in a bad or good mood, and when something is just plain wrong.

You have to have trust and faith in this instinct.  That is not to say that you should not allow a doctor to put your fears to rest.  If your child's doctor assures you that your child is fine, he/she most likely is.  But if you continue to have that nagging, instinctive feeling weeks and months after the doctors appointment...  Remember, you are the only expert on your child!

So, what do you do if you feel like you're being "brushed off?"  I recommend making notes.  Lots of notes.  A copious amount of notes.  Write down everything and anything that concerns you.  Take note of the time and day that things that bother you occur.  Write down every tantrum, quirk, and odd incident.  Leave nothing, no matter how insignificant seeming it is, out.

What do you do with these notes?  Well, you may find they put your mind at ease.  Maybe something that feels overwhelming and awful at the time actually appears normal when it's down on paper.  If not, bring your notes to the doctor at your next visit.  The doctor may put your mind at ease, or want to look into things further.

A mother is the only expert on her own child!  So, what if you feel "brushed off" again?  Research time.  Google is every mothers best friend and worst enemy at the same time.  Do not take what you read to heart.  But make notes of anything you find that you feel fits the situation.  At your next doctors appointment, ask about everything you've noted.  The doctor will explain why the syndrome, condition, disorder, etc. does not match the issues, or say that maybe it is possible.

Do not worry about seeming crazy.  That is easier said then done though.  I know I sometimes worried about seeming like I was an overboard, crazy mother.  A good doctor will appreciate that you are concerned, and will help and work with you.  Specific notes and examples will help the doctor, as we all know how hard it is to remember questions and specifics while in the appointment.

So, be an expert.  Remember, the pediatrician or family doctor is an expert in your child's health, but not in their discipline  upbringing, stresses, and daily life.  

YOU are the ONLY expert on EVERY aspect of YOUR child!

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