Is Your Child Afraid of Going To The Dentist?

How Does Your Child Feel About Going To The Dentist?

How Does Your Child Feel About Going To The Dentist?

Is your child afraid of the dentist? Ever wonder how you could help make the trip to the dentist a little easier on them and on you? Let us start with how you feel yourself about going to the dentist? What are you thinking and what emotions do you have as you drive your child to the dentist? Maybe you are nervous or anxious about dentists yourself and worried how your child will react to getting their teeth cleaned or cavity filled. A totally normal reaction by the way, as we all know the dentist’s office is hardly anyone’s favourite place to be. Our children are energy sponges though, and whatever feelings we have when we are with them they experience those same feelings themselves even though they may not know where the feelings are coming from. They hear our anxiousness in our voice and feel it in our energy and become anxious and nervous themselves without even knowing why. Most dentists will not even let the parents in the back with their child because the child is more likely to act up with the parent there than when they are not. It is also worth it to take the time and find a dentist who is really good with children because they will know how to help your child feel comfortable during the appointment.

When my children were little and had to go to the dentist I always took the three of them together to save multiple trips back and forth. I simply told them it was time to get their teeth cleaned and if they were good the dentist would let them pick out a toy and give them a goodie bag at the end. I never spoke to them about what would happen, other than the dentist was going to use her special polisher and they would come out with nice clean teeth and a goody bag. Even though I wasn’t fond of the dentist either I would focus my energy on staying calm, keep my thoughts on visualizing my children having a good experience at the dentist and seeing them being peaceful and happy to go.

The dentist loved my kids. The three of them would walk into her reception area and fight over who could go first. I think it was a refreshing experience for her, one that didn’t happen very often. Of course it helped that she was a very good dentist and excellent with children. She also had a fun selection of toys for the kids to choose from so they couldn’t wait to finish their appointment to choose one.

Even when they had a cavity they loved to go. My oldest daughter Marie was 13 years old before she realized the dentist actually used a needle to freeze her mouth before drilling on her tooth. She thought it was just a little cotton swab with the freezing on it numbing her tooth all that time. The dentist used numbing gel on a cotton swab to numb the gum where the needle would go. Then she used her “Magic Wand” to inject the freezing into Marie’s mouth. The Wand as it is officially called is a computer guided anesthesia system. A small needle, easily hidden by a dentist finger is connected to an injection system to pulse the freezing into the gum so the patient barely feels it. The needle was so tiny Marie did not even realize she was being given one. I even requested the “Magic Wand” for myself and you really do not feel it as much as the needle. If your dentist doesn’t have one I would highly recommend suggesting they get one for their patients comfort.

We would always finish a trip to the dentist with a special treat. Sometimes I would take them to the Dollar Store near by and they could pick out a small toy or they could choose their favourite treat at the Starbucks to eat later. The treat gave them something to look forward to afterwards and ended the visit with some mommy time, something every child enjoys!

When Should I Get My Child a Cell Phone?

Cell Phones - When Is Enough, Enough!

Cell Phones – When Is Enough, Enough!

When is the right time to get my child a cell phone? I am a big advocate of having an emergency cell phone for my child. However, I am puzzled when I see teenagers and younger children who no longer seem to communicate other than with their cell phones. I have seen groups of teenagers walking or hanging out together and no one is talking, they all have their heads bent over their phones. What has social communication come to if everyone ignores one another when they get together and just play with their phones? Why even get together when they could just sit at home and text each other? Coming from an age where we didn’t even have cordless phones never mind cell phones I just don’t get it! (Not that I am dating myself here and from my parents point of view they probably wished they could have given me a cell phone sometimes)

I totally understand the parents reasoning for getting their child a cell phone. It is important for us to know if our child was ever in need of help they could call someone and get it. With all the cell phones around these days it can be very difficult to even find a pay phone so sending them with quarters would be a waste of time.

When my kids were 9 or 10 and were starting to walk to school on their own with their friends I felt they needed some means of communicating with me, especially if there was a problem on the way home or if they wanted to go over to a friends house after school. I searched around for a cell phone plan that would be economically reasonable and would not encourage them to be on the phone all the time.

I discovered that 7eleven has a speak out, pay as you go phone plan and in it you can buy a phone for $50 then buy $25 worth of minutes and they last for 365 days. So, for roughly $25 a year my kids had an emergency phone that they could use to communicate when needed. The phones were nothing like the tablet phones out now so it was more challenging to text. Texting also cost .30 cents each so they were discouraged from texting or making a lot of phone calls. Our deal was if they went through the minutes too fast they had to contribute to the next purchase of minutes for the phone. What the 7eleven phone did provide was an emergency phone when needed and it allowed me to get in touch with them if there was an urgent message.

People miss out on a lot in life when they walk around glued to their cell phone. Face to face Communication with others becomes a challenge. There is a great YouTube video on a Poem called “Look Up” by Gary Turk that sends an important message to everyone on how cell phones are affecting our lives. I would highly recommend checking it out especially if you or your child are already addicted to a cell phone. Is it not better to teach our children to communicate face to face rather than text to text? I believe it is and the face to face social skills they learn today will better equip them for the real world when looking for their first job or going to a college interview.

Happy Mother’s Day To Mother’s Everywhere!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

MOM

Today we celebrate Moms everywhere
For without Moms we’d really not have much to share.
They guide and care for us, teach us with patience and love
Sacrificing their needs when push comes to shove
For their children they would do anything they can,
To help them grow up into a strong woman or man
So Mom, I thank you for all you have done
In my life you are amazing; in my world you’re the one
Who taught me to love, stand tall, be true to me,
When to make it right and when to let it be
A toast to all Mothers I’d like to propose,
We could never say it all with one simple rose.
© Karen

Funny, when we have young children the best Mother’s Day is when dad takes all the kids out for the day and we have a quiet moment to ourselves. A day with no fighting, whining or cooking. Then, when our kids are grown and busy in their own lives the best Mother’s Day is when they make the time to come and spend it with us. As I watch how fast my children are growing I try to appreciate each moment we have together for I know there will be a time when they move out and on with their lives and I won’t get to see their beautiful faces every day. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

Teach Your Child To Be Themselves!

Be Yourself! Following The Crowd Never Makes You Happy!

Be Yourself! Following The Crowd Never Makes You Happy!

Every child wonders to themselves Who Am I? Parents, teachers, friends, coaches, grandparents and everyone they come in contact with all have different expectations of them. No wonder children are confused as to who they should be at different times with different people. They switch masks from the good boy or girl for the teacher, sometimes the scared or hurt child on the playground when other kids pick on them, the tough kid among their peers putting on a brave face, the joker making their friends laugh, or the perfect player for their coach doing their best for the team. Not to mention all the roles we as parents expect them to play at home; brother, sister, responsible, hardworking, studious, well behaved child. No wonder kids have a tough time figuring out who they really are.

Being with their peers can be the most challenging place for them to be themselves. Peers sometimes expect certain behaviours from them in order to fit in with the group. If those behaviours feel wrong or uncomfortable it takes a strong person to say “No, I don’t need to behave like you to be accepted”. I have always taught my kids to be their own best friend. If a friend of theirs is not treating them with respect then they are not a true friend.

Grades 3-4 can be challenging social years in school, especially for girls. When my daughter Anya was in grade 4 a couple of the popular girls in her class started playing a mean game. It was the “Friend today, Ditch you tomorrow” game with some of the other girls in the class. The “popular” girls would talk about who they were going to be friends with and who they were going to ditch at recess, lunch or walking home that day. The game would rotate among the group of girls changing each day as to who could play and who couldn’t. For the girls who really wanted to fit in it was a very hurtful game.

One day when Anya went out to play at recess they would tell her, “we are ditching you today so you can’t play with us”. The next day they would play with her like nothing had happened. My daughter being the strong-willed child she is did not tolerate the treatment for long. As she was walking home from school one day with her best friend of many years her friend told her, “I am sorry Anya I am ditching you as a friend to be with the more popular girls”. Anya was so hurt and fed up with the whole game she said to her friend, “You know what, fine, I’m not going to hang out with you anymore!” then she walked away. We talked about it when she got home and I was so proud of her for standing her ground. She had another friend she could hang out with and they respected each other. She would not tolerate any more cruel games. A couple of weeks later her x-best friend came back to her and wanted to be her friend again because the popular girls had ditched her. Anya stood her ground and told the girl she had hurt her too many times and Anya was not willing to let it happen again. After that Anya was always polite to her but would no longer consider her a good friend.

Anya and her friend who was also tired of the ditching game started their own group where everyone was accepted for who they were as long as they were respectful with the others. If girls joined them for lunch or recess and we’re disrespectful Anya and her friend would walk away. They were still nice to everyone they just didn’t tolerate disrespectful behavior. By her grade 6 year Anya and her friend’s group had grown into a cluster of 6 to 8 girls who would hang out every lunch and recess and were always respectful to each other. They would play card games or on the playground including anyone who wanted to join and have fun. They didn’t care what anybody else thought of them they were just happy to be themselves.

Teach your child it is always better to play alone than to hang around other children who do not respect them or expect them to do things they feel uncomfortable doing. There are lots of nice kids out there just like them who would love someone to play with. If our children expect respect from their friends they will get it. They will also have the courage to stand up to a friend and say “No” when they don’t feel comfortable doing something their friend wants them to do.   ©

 

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Disclaimer

The information on this site is based on the personal experience of the author. There are no guarantees of a perfect method to raise a child, it is all trial and error. Please feel free to try some of the suggestions on this site and let me know how you make out. If you would like to use any words or pictures from this blog please contact me for written permission. © 2013

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