“Is this normal?”
I get asked this question quite a lot. This question could go along with behavior, growth charts, benchmarks, eating, tantrums, aggressive behavior, sleeping habits, writing skills, teething, potty training, and the list goes on and on. If I had a quarter for every time a parent asked me a question that started with “Is this normal?” I would truly be a very rich lady. But honestly, we all want to know that our children are okay and that they’re growing, healthy, and developing along with their peers. Each child is their own little unique individual person. Is it normal? My answer is sometimes it is and sometimes it’s not.
You may question what your preschool or child care providers can do for you.
Well, I’m here to answer that today! We can offer advice, we can offer you suggestions on things that worked for us when we were parents of little ones. We can give you a kind of bird’s eye view because we’re dealing with many children at this age and stage of growth all at one time. What we can’t do is diagnose or give you an absolute answer. Our teachers are teaching professionals. When we’ve noticed a sudden change of behavior, for instance in eating or bathroom habits, we try to think about what has recently changed in a child’s life. We consult the parents and we know no one knows a child better than their parents.
What triggers our children?
I have seen children become incredibly aggressive when their molars were coming through. Even seen children go crazy from an antihistamine that was given simply for nasal congestion. I have experienced children backsliding on their potty training because their parents had been on an extended business trip. I’ve seen that the sweetest child can change into an incredibly hard to deal with child because of a new sibling being born.
Everything we experience with our families, whether the loss of a job, loss of a pet or even moving our little ones out of a crib to their first bed can affect a child greatly in their preschool life. What we can do is keep communication open and be incredibly honest and gentle with each other. Be that child’s advocate regardless of how uncomfortable a conversation is that needs to be had. I have seen the greatest success when the child care provider and the parents partner as the child greatest advocates.
So when you ask “Is this normal?” I often wonder what normal really is anyway!