In some instances, my recovery from Polio being one such instance, forcing a reluctant child to do something they abhor to do isnt mean. But most times that’s all it is: mean. I remember when toddler Erin became what we call a “picky eater”. She also began an odd eating routine, in which some days, sometimes several consecutive days, she fasted. The other days she ate voraciously, if selectively. Nothing on her plate could have any contact, including drippings with the others. 
I called my pediatrician. He said in his forty years as a pediatrician he had never once seen a child starve by choice. 
My parents would have forced me relentlessly to eat as they wanted me to eat. Unfortunately this frequently occurred and often led to dire consequences. 
My parents were wrong, but there is a silver lining: I’ve always been clear in almost all cases not to follow their example. 
But I have to give credit where credit is due. My mother forced me to do every bit of the daily routine and sequencing of exercise and rest the Physical Therapist at the hospital recommended. 
I of course resisted, but my mother insisted, no exceptions. The doctor at the hospital told my mother I would never walk again. My mother was having none of it. She pushed me off of the crutches, refused to allow surgery. She was my hero. And I’m still walking. And grateful at a depth … well I have nothing to compare it to. Love. Gratitude and love. 
So there are times when a child’s displeasure is simply irrelevant. But those other times …

One thought on “Thoughts On Parenting 

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