Monday, 21 February 2011

Children = Tricky Customers. Or are they?

I remember being small and telling my younger sister how horrible immunisations were. I must have made an impression, because she really put up a fight when her shots were due. My mom was seriously not amused.

When LLC had her recent round of vaccinations I didn’t look forward to it. She’s now so much more aware and I dreaded her reaction to getting multiple jabs at the fateful visit. She was in such a great mood before the said event, laughing and chatting. I think she thought the nurse was at the sink preparing her some food.

I explained to her what was coming and that it was for her long term benefit. Then came her cry as the first injection struck. Our faithful nurse was quick though, and soon it was all over. LLC cried a bit during the shots but didn’t even really squirm and the whole affair was nothing that a spelt biscuit couldn’t quickly appease.

It got me thinking. Injections aren’t anyone’s favorite pastime, but they aren’t so bad either. Same with visiting the doctor or the dentist in general. My first impression was to assume all of the above would get harder as kids get older and put up a fight, but maybe there is a lot to be said in how parents prepare their kids for all of these inevitable events....i.e. if we project fear and worry onto our kids about such things they’ll have just that. If we coddle them and act like something unpleasant is on the cards, they’ll expect that. Where if we’re more matter of fact about these things, they’ll understand more and take more in stride.

This was definitely the reason behind my dental hygienist’s stance that I introduce LLC to the dentist’s office at a young age. Though then again, she probably ate her words when LLC kicked off halfway through my last cleaning in December! Still, my initial reaction that these injections would spell trouble probably wasn’t the best attitude to have, in retrospect.

Do you think children really are tricky customers at their core because they can’t be reasoned with? Or is it instead parents (or naughty older siblings, etc!) that set the scene for such behaviour?
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