Yesterday we met up with a lovely paediatrician to gain an insight into child 4's general health. Child 4 is nearly two, he is achieving all his milestones as expected. He is, I am glad to say, nervous with strangers. One of my concerns has been that child 4's social worker and foster mum have been citing his willingness to hug strangers and his ease with the occasional respite carers as a good thing, where as I following all the training and reading about attachment disorders feel that those types of behaviours are a concern. So to hear the paediatrician say that he behaves warily with people he doesn't know put my mind at rest.
Although no one has a crystal ball it would seem the ony two possible concerns are of mental health and ADHD. Child 4's birth parents have a history of mental health issues and possibly suffer from ADHD. Both of these conditions can be hereditary however with birth parents they could be symptoms of upbringing, that nature versus nurture debate raises its head again.
Parenting is such an important aspect of our children's ability to grow into well rounded individuals, I know that some behaviours are dictated by nature but I truly believe that if we can offer the right type of nurturing for our children, keeping in mind that they are all very individual in their needs and desires that we can help them to become the best that they can be. Naughty steps and reward charts don't work for all children, it's about asking for different advice and trying new ideas so that we can provide the right boundaries for our children to follow their own paths, learning from experience and facing consequences so that THEY can be the people they want to be. Pre-empting and preventative behaviours are so important in raising children. Just like the apple a day keeps the doctor away mentality can help with so many aspects of our parenting.
Good old Dr Seuss knew what he we talking about.......