Have you ever wondered why we rush about in the endless quest to make appointments? Just getting your child ready for the day can be a great task for many. Yet, when you know that an appointment looms around the corner, there begins to well up a sense of anxious excitement or dreadful doom that awaits. For many of us young parents, both excitement and over anxious feelings of apprehension come to mind when thinking about an appointment. Whether it be a doctors appointment or a school district developmental screening, often we get the sneaking feeling that the experts are going to tell us something is wrong with our kid, that he/she is not alright physically, mentally, and socially. The outcomes of those appointments often are more difficult for our fragile state of emotions than we let on to others. Yet, as we begin to look at these meetings from a parenting angle, we also see that these appointments are both very good for us and our children. How?
By going to these appointments and being a present part of your child’s life, you bearing witness to others and to the specialists (doctors, educators, etc.) that your are fully invested in the growth and well-being of your child. Often adults, especially men have a great difficulty going to the doctor for routine check up’s as well as more serious matters. Men do not generally want to be checked out and told the truth about an ailment. Yet, in the case of raising children we want to do all that we can to help them grow, not waiting for the worse possible signs to get help. Secondly, by being an active part in taking care of your child, you begin to be aware that you love your little ones far more than you realize.
The second truth that we gauge from our involvement as parents in the lives of our children pertaining to appointments is the tribe factor. One author has once said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This pithy piece of wisdom is all the more true in speaking about appointments. At the very earliest period in raising a child, we begin to realize that none of us are expert doctors, nutritionists, exercise leaders, and behavioral specialists. Not only do we need the wisdom of people in these various fields, but these people have trained in their various fields for many years to help us with our children. Often times we sense that the doctors advice is just a stepping off point for what is really the problem with our children. Although we should certainly be careful of bogus advice, many professionals in the educational and medical fields seek the good of their clients in giving wisdom. So while we all want to be experts in all fields of knowledge, the care of professionals brings with it a healthy dose of humility to the parent.
Upcoming appointments will come for your children, doctors visits will inevitably be on the future horizon for your family. Yet, as we began to scratch the surface, these appointments come with great truths. These appointments point out that parents are actually fully present in the lives of their children, not only in good times but also in the case of difficult ordeals. They say that in grieiving the loss of a close friend all one needs is the presence of another, evenmore, in the case of raising children, half the battle is being present for them. Lastly, we desperately need the wisdom of those in various fields of medicine, education, and psychology. Relying on professionals is not a sign of weakness, but rather a humble sign that the wisdom of those in our community brings out the best care for our children. Next time you see the writing on the wall, or the writing of an appointment on your calendar, be sure to remind yourself that the upcoming meeting is only a sign of your love and care for your child.