How to NOT be a cautionary tale in two easy steps…

ImageAs I am putting my parenting crazy on blast this week -writing, erasing, retracting- I thought it might be a fair thing to do to give my reasons why. While I will have to state that they aren’t necessarily “good” reasons. They are mine and, by putting them out there to show what caused my crazy back and forth this last week, maybe I can save just one other parent in my position from going through it, too.

So here goes….

There are two vital things that a mom should never –ever– look at or view when you have a child that has developmental delays because they may cause intermittent bouts of crazy, worry, and maybe even fighting with your spouse. If you want to just enjoy the beauty and wonderment that is your child -who is probably fine and just working through things at their own pace and even if they aren’t…who cares, really?- please, please do not do either of these things. Put the mouse down immediately and go to the park.

1) Do not watch the documentary, Bully. Seriously, don’t do it. Put the remote down, cancel your Netflix subscription, and walk away from the TV. Never, ever, ever watch this thing. Chances are, unless you live in a tiny southern town in the sticks that only has one school and you are a total space cadet, you can prevent most of the things that you see on this thing. You can’t un-see it and it will mess with your head in a way that I can’t even begin to describe.

2) Never take the Childbrain.com PDD assessment. Just don’t do it. Someone brought it to my attention and the moment that I took it for him, it sent me spiraling back to that place that I was in mentally months ago and I was well past that before I saw it. You are not a doctor, I am not a doctor, and no one that takes this test can walk away feeling good about it, I promise. Leave the diagnosing to the Diagnosticians with PhD’s and decades of experience.

You see, being able to live in the moment means that you can’t spend your time preparing for a future that may or may not happen. Unless you are a psychic, and a good one, there is no way to know what the future may hold for you. The one truth is, it will hold what it does, and nothing you can read will change that. When it comes to delays in our children preparing for the worst will make you crazy, make you tired, and is pretty much one of the biggest wastes of their vital years that you can partake in.

Once, a few years ago, I started getting headaches in my eyes. Frequent headaches and burning pain, very nearly all of the time. I was worried. Are people supposed to have headaches 6 days a week? I had my eyes checked. New glasses. Didn’t help. I stressed myself out, I did my research, and I worried endlessly about what it could be for an entire year.

A year, people.

Finally, I went and had a CT scan.The headaches were constant and almost unmanageable. Did I think I had brain cancer? No, not really, but I was fully prepared for that doctor to walk in and tell me that I did. I sat there, bracing myself for the worst news imaginable, and when she walked in, she smiled. No brain cancer.

Do you know what it was?

I subconsciously clench my jaw when I’m stressed or concentrating. So the more I worried, the more I clenched, the more I clenched, the more headaches I got, the more headaches I got, the more I stressed, the more I stressed, the more headaches I got…and, well, you’re getting the picture here.

I didn’t have brain cancer. I just had to learn to relax my jaw when I stress. That’s it. A whole year of worrying myself half to death and ingesting copious amounts of Ibuprofen and, in the end, all I had to do was open my mouth and chill out. I get maybe one a month now.

ImageMoral of the story?

If I actually had brain cancer would I have changed anything worrying about it? Did my research into brain cancer make me better? Or would I have just wasted one of my last years on earth spending too much time in front of a computer screen? Did my research change anything? Except now I am the most knowledgeable person on the planet (without an MD after my name) about the concept of Ocular Migraines?

Worrying doesn’t solve a problem. In fact, it actually gives me headaches -literally. So, if you stumble upon a book or website that says that something in your life could be the worse case scenario…turn away. Don’t let morbid curiosity turn you into the basket case that I have been for the last couple of weeks. Smile. Your life is beautiful.

Too much information can make you knowledgeable but it can also make you a little loony, too. All of the smartest people are a little crazy, right? I’d rather be dumb and happy than smart and miserable any day of the week. At least, from now on. πŸ™‚

Childhood Development Parenting

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Amber Perea View All →

I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.

15 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Hear, hear! Very well said and oh so true. I am always having to remind myself that there is such a thing as information (often the wrong kind!) being too available. Great post! I love the positivity and optimism!

  2. Nothing like your sons situation but each time my eldest dyslexic was assessed I despaired. He was in the lowest percentile. Surely a future working in the circus beckoned. Fast forward 10 years, he is doing honors maths. It seems I missed the small print he was classified “above average” in intelligence but we were not looking there. That is the problem with testing and labels it is all about what they cannot do! As I have said don’t beat yourself up. Knowledge is good but so is balance, Your son has strong points too. And from what I see is very handsome.

    • Actually, he’s pretty brilliant. A receptive language delay means that the English language is a little hard for him to grasp. But he can pick out words he knows, read your tone, and follow really well! That shows a TON of cognition.

      Plus, he can work any electronic better than I can. Almost prodigy like. πŸ™‚

      Tests are a pain and aren’t really a good gauge of where our children stand at all, are they?

  3. Albert Einstein didn’t talk until he was 3 years old. So much for Assessments! He would have been diagnosed for sure…..and then decades later he would have had the last laugh. I’m happy for you that you seem more at ease:) This Mothering business is sometimes so stressful.

    • Nearly 4 and it’s said he was anti-social and preferred to be alone. Eh? Eh? πŸ™‚

      Usually, I think it’s only stressful when we get in our own way and compare our kids to others. As long as I keep my perspective and keep my booty off of the Internet assessments I will be okay!

      Thanks for the words of support! You always have such am awesome perspective and I love hearing it! So glad you’re back. πŸ™‚

  4. Excellent post and so true. I have said that our lives all got so much worse with the advent of WEB MD. Too much information can be a bad thing.

    I hate testing in any form but really hate it in regards to children. HATE it.

    Big hugs.

    • Thank you! Being a psych lover I have beer had a problem with them. But now, the idea that it’s something that I have to do just to get the poor kid services that he should just get because he needs them.

      Crazy, crazy world that we live in when some one has to BE something to NEED something! πŸ˜‰

  5. I’m not gonna lie – the first thing I did after reading this was go take that test! But, Kaleb already has his diagnosis, and Mason is having his final evaluation in a month – so I didn’t freak! I just hadn’t heard of that one, we always just used the MCHAT.

    BTW
    I’m glad you don’t have brain cancer πŸ˜‰

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