The title is the beginning of a HUGE issue for me. I'm a mom of three. Over the years I've heard daycare workers, doctors, relatives say to me "I'll treat your child just like she [or he] was my own child..." Well, nosiree you will NOT. I have seen how some people treat their own children and I prefer to have my child treated by others as if she/he were MY OWN !
I say this because I heard this phrase spewed out of the mouth of a [possibly] well-meaning dental assistant just the other day. My daughter is nine. I have home schooled her since kindergarten along with her 2 older brothers (ages 14 and 11). I very much value the bond my daughter and I have. Though some may see it as over protective, I see it as protective. I love my children. I want them to feel safe with me. I want them to know that I will be with them through everything.
My little girl has never had a fear of the dentist. As a matter of fact she loves to go. Even though she has had extensive dental work. At her previous dentist's I was allowed to go back with her and I always talked "up" dental visits as a positive thing. So, fear of going was not an issue. But this new dental office holds a policy that parents of children over five years old are not allowed to go back with their children. When they called my daughter's name, we approached the door, as my little girl entered the dental assistant blocked my entry by holding her arm across the doorway.
"Oh. No." She said. "You can not go back there with her."
Her attitude with me was immediately testy and cold. Which I could see had already upset my little girl. She stood frozen with a terrified look on her face. The assistant's arm across the door was a menacing sight and her stiff stance wasn't a source of comfort either.
"And why not ?" I asked.
"Because," The assistant said through gritted teeth, "we find kids do better without their parents."
"She has no fear of the dentist." I said. "but she doesn't like to be without me. Why do you have an issue with me going back there with her ?"
"She needs to learn to trust us." She snapped.
"NO. She needs to KNOW she can trust me not to leave her." I said. "I will let her know she can trust you."
"Ma'am, you are not going back there." She said.
Another assistant approached my daughter and began trying to "guide" her to the exam room. This upset my child even more. She pulled away from the assistant and I could see tears in her eyes.
"Do you want me to wait out here, sweetheart ?" I asked.
"No." She said.
"Do you want to leave ?" I asked.
She shook her head yes and I stuck out my hand. She grabbed my hand.
"If I can't go back there with her, then we're leaving." I said.
As I crossed the crowded waiting room (where by now every parent in the room was watching the little drama play out), the assistant called out to me "Ma'am we would really like to see her today !"
"Then you should let me go back there with her." I said and we walked out the door.
We live in a society today where our children are more vunerable than ever. I don't want to put fear in my child, but I do want her to know that I am always with her for as long as she needs me to be. If my daughter had let me know she was fine being left alone, I might have felt a little sad, but I would have honored her wishes and let her go in alone. But that was not the case.
People say "it takes a village to raise a child", but I think I met the village idiot at one particular dental office. It's not the village that needs to raise the child. It's a loving, caring, loyal parent who raises the child. The village need only get involved when parenting is lacking...
Maybe, she's a little sheltered, maybe a little spoiled, too, but atleast she will get to be a child for as long as she wishes. What exactly is it that the dentist office doesn't want me to see them do to my child anyway ?