Creating Confident Parents
Comment from the esteemed Dr. Flea:
With all due respect, Dr. Flea, my experience has been somewhat different. One of the coolest things in my 17 years of practice has been watching families come into existence, expand, grow and develop. Not just the kids but also their parents, as both parents and people. I feel an important part of my job is not just teaching the parents about caring for their child, but supporting them -- explicitly and enthusiastically -- in their child-rearing abilities. And guess what: it works.
Another proposed Dino Law, Flea version:
"Nervous first-time parents tend to become nervous second-time parents".
At least that's been my experience.
I can't even begin to count the number of families I've known (often both parents became my patients before they were married) who were hopeless nervous nellies when the first baby arrived. By holding their hands and being their number-one cheerleader through those early days, I know I accomplished my goal of building their confidence when -- lo and behold -- they were nowhere near as nervous when that second baby came along.
I also have a lot of fun telling parents of toddlers -- who may be contemplating another child -- that second children are the complete opposite of first children. (And third children are the complete opposite of the first two.) I can't tell you what I kick I get when the mother of a five-year-old and a ten-year-old tells me, "She's so different from him," and I get to say, "I told you that before she was even conceived!" and the mom gets to say, "Yes, you did."
If I remember correctly, Dr. Flea has been in practice about four years. Perhaps as the years begin to pile up a little more and as relationships with patients' parents are honed to succor them with confidence in their own skills, nervous first-time parents can become confident subsequent ones.