Every mother wants the best for their child. Every mother experiences times when she feels like she’s not doing enough for her child or spending enough time with her child.
If you’ve never had these thoughts as a parent, stop reading. This post really isn’t for you.
What follows is how I experienced all these feelings and more, when I attended parents’ evening at my son’s nursery earlier this week.
But first, let me set the scene…
Last weekend, a popular American celebrity and reality TV star posted a video of her hubby and son. A ‘fan’ left the following comment:
“He could use some speech therapy. Coming from a mum who had to hire a speech therapist for my daughter.”
The celeb checked the fan, called her a b***h and told her (and anybody else who wanted to give an opinion), to say “NOTHING” about her child. The fan wasn’t done. She replied and said:
“I didn’t know speech therapy was an insult. Like I said, my daughter had it and she’s 6 now and speaks and reads above grade level. She had it at 2 years old suggested by her daycare teacher.”
Let’s fast forward to Wednesday of this week…
I attended parents’ evening at Nate’s nursery. After a general discussion, the following exchange happened between his key person (KP) and I:
KP: So do you have any concerns about Nathaniel?
Me: No, not really.
KP: Well I have one. I don’t really think his speech is as developed as it should be. So I think he should be referred to a speech and language therapist. What did you think?
Me: How did you reach this conclusion?
KP: I used the Early Years Foundation Stage framework to assess him. This includes asking him simple questions and checking his understanding and ability to follow instructions. For example, sometimes if I ask him to get a pencil he won’t be able to do so.
Me: Nathaniel can follow instructions. If he doesn’t want to do something he won’t do it.
KP: (Sympathetic look that I interpreted as “poor mum, she’s in denial”) Hmmm, ok. Well I don’t really think speech therapy is a bad thing. It can be really beneficial.
Me: I know this and I don’t dispute that.
KP: I just want to see Nathaniel do well…
Me: Well if you think he needs it, I agree to the referral.
On our way home from nursery, I could not help but feel like I’d somehow failed. Like I’d missed something or not done enough for my son. I cried silently. I also felt conflicted. I was glad that possible issues were being flagged but I was angry because I did not believe he had been accurately assessed.
I had a bigger cry when I got home whilst talking to my sister (cos I’m a baby like that), then I felt better. As our evening progressed and Nate asked for a specific channel on TV, talked about needing to clean a spill on the table and told me that he “didn’t want to go to bed yet”; I found it hard to understand how he could somehow be behind developmentally. With all the talking, reading and activities we do, I asked myself what more I could do.
Where I am now…
Ultimately, I know my child and I know that he is fine regardless. However, there is nothing to be lost from seeing a specialist. If anything, it will only help him to further flourish. I am not a failure as a mother (nor is Papa Nate as a father). I know that no matter how little time we may have in a day/week, we find ways to make the best of it with our darling boy. That’s what matters.
When we leave our children with childcare providers, we trust that they will look after our children and have their best interests in mind. Some are so passionate about their caregiving roles that they treat our children like their own. If they make recommendations, we should be open to accepting them, especially if they are coming from a positive place.
Thanks for stopping by. If you’ve read this and can relate, please let me know.