Saturday, February 9, 2008

Resistance = Persistence

My good friend and love and play activist, Jenny Ward, wrote about this on her blog recently as well. I encourage you to read her entry (as well as her entire blog) for much more global, yet personal insights.

What we resist really does persist. I experience this over and over in my life and see it over and over in the lives of my clients.

But what a reminder I got about this concept while at Lindsay's first dentist appointment this week.

Lindsay is a thumb sucker. She has been a sucker since birth. Despite warnings about giving a newborn a pacifier before they have gotten a hang of nursing, we relied on one the first night Lindsay was born. The child wanted to suck and suck, but preferred to do so from something that did not dispense a white liquid into her mouth. From that point on, she was easily soothed with her pacifier, especially for sleep purposes. Of course, as she got older, we started to fret about the time that WE would have to break her of her pacifier habit.

Well, like most things so far, Lindsay decided when that time was going to come and took care of the "weaning" herself. One day I pulled her crib away from the wall to find a pile of pacifiers all dropped in the exact same spot. She was less then a year old, but was clearly telling us that she no longer needed them. Score.

But as quickly as she gave up the pacifiers, she also found her thumb. So here we are, 15 days away from her 3rd birthday and she still loves that thumb. It's gone from being a sleeping, soothing tool to a regular function whenever she has a pony in her hair (she twirls the pony while sucking her thumb) or is in the car or is reading a book or is watching TV. You get the picture.

Bill and I both have been talking to her about it and asking her to "Please take your thumb out of your mouth." I've tried not to make a big deal about it or demand that she stop, but deep down I've been feeling like I need to put a stop to it. What will people think? What will it do to her teeth? What type of germs is she sticking in her mouth each time she does this?

The only question and concern I had for Lindsay's dentist, Dr. Perry, was what to do about the thumb sucking. And do you know what he said?

"The more you fight it, the more she's going to do it."

Um, did I just get a Life Lesson from our pediatric dentist? Sure did. That was worth the $150 for the visit.

Beyond the words of wisdom, the entire experience was really great. We had prepped Lindsay about this visit weeks (maybe even months) in advance with a Dora book about going to the dentist. Dora can teach a kid just about anything. I sure hope they come out with a Dora Tells About the Birds and the Bees version soon. That would sure be helpful on our part.

Lindsay's' biggest concern was why the doctor wasn't a lady doctor like Dora has. Other then that, she was so great about the whole thing. She opened her mouth when instructed. Laid on the table when asked. Wore her protective sunglasses with glee.

As for the thumb, Dr. Perry says they don't consider it a problem until the kid is much other (say 6 on up). However, Lindsay is telling us that when she turns three, she won't suck her thumb anymore. Based on previous examples making her own transition decisions (pacifier, potty training, etc.), she may just be telling us the truth. I'll keep you posted.

I'll post some more about our dentist experience later. I was also reminded about another important lesson while there as well around the benefits of specializing in your business. They've got quite the operation going on. It's no wonder that nearly EVERYONE in Alameda with kids takes them to the Alameda Pediatric Dentistry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was told, "most kids are going to need braces regardless, so why fight something you can't control"...And yeah, well she does need braces, and you can see the damage the finger sucking (and hair twirling) did. But did she find a way to self-sooth through some hard early years? Yes. Is she still finger-sucking at 11 years old? No. So you're right: parenting is all about learning how to choose your battles. Keep up the good work! :-) Kate R