When my daughter was 6 weeks old, she was running a 104 temperature and my husband and I had to rush her to the emergency room for treatment. It was scary. I honestly did not know what to do for her. I was sad and angry that this was happening. All I wanted to do was take away her pain. As the doctors told me that she would have to have a lumbar puncture to see if she had meningitis, I broke into tears. It was at that moment that I knew I had to do something. I realized that I was not as helpless as I imagined. I had “Choices!” I chose to have a specialist come down to the emergency room to evaluate her before the emergency doctor who was not trained in pediatrics did the procedure. I had a choice to call my parents to pick up my son, so my husband and I could stay with my daughter. I did not want my son to be traumatized by what was happening.
I had choices. I made them and I did not feel helpless anymore. It turned out that my daughter had RSV and made a full recovery.
My point in sharing my story with you today, is to let you know that when trauma strikes:
“We always have CHOICES” to make as parents. None of us want to see our children in emotional or physical pain. However, we are also not “Super” parents. We feel frustrated, confused, angry and sad when someone hurts, teases, or abuses our children. We want to erase all of the pain they are feeling as soon as possible, as much for them as for ourselves.
The truth is that many times as parents:
“We cannot take away our child’s pain immediately but we can make CHOICES to find ways to help them heal from the pain over time.” If you have a child who is in emotional pain, make the choice to start helping him or her today. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Dr. Sue Cornbluth is a nationally recognized parenting expert in high conflict parenting situations. She is a regular mental health contributor for an array of networks and television shows such as NBC, FOX and CBS. Dr. Sue has also contributed to several national publications. Her new best-selling book, Building Self Esteem in Children and Teens Who Are Adopted or Fostered is available now. To find out more about her work, please visit Dr. Sue’s website.