7B Tasks for RG

November 25, 2007

I read every comment my readers have posted and I appreciate them and find them stimulating and useful, though I do not always reply right away, or sometimes at all.

I mentioned earlier that my granddaughter had gone to get her flu shot and offered her arm for the needle without concern or demur. Mommy (her birth mom and my daughter’s partner) told me that she is  trying to prove how gown-up she is and she should be allowed to make more decisions for herself.

I mentioned this behavior during our visit. My daughter offered a slightly different take on it.

“RG has learned to trust adults,” she said. “She believes they have her best interests in mind.

 “For example, recently she went to the dentist to have her teeth cleaned. She sat back in the dentist’s chair and opened her mouth wide when directed.” I thought that it isn’t necessarily natural for a three year old child to allow a strange man to stick sharp objects in her mouth and start scraping.

This may be well enough for a three year old.  However, I will have to work on changing this attitude as she gets older. By the time she is four, she should be cringing in a corner and whining in terror when a strange adult approaches her.

By the time she is five, I will pay for her to take trips to Maine to take self-defense lessons from my niece who teaches martial arts. My instructions will be that when she returns, RG should be able to break the kneecap of any strange adult who approaches her.

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4 Responses to “7B Tasks for RG”


  1. That is very, very interesting. I would offer a third explanation, based on my own experience of being a child. I didn’t trust adults, but I was a very agreeable and “good” kid. This was because things were well-explained to me as though I had intelligence, and so I was able to differentiate between things that were unpleasant but necessary, and things that were unpleasant and unnecessary.

    Clearly everyone in RG’s life treats her as a sentient being who deserves to know what is going to happen, and why, and what she can expect. I would venture to say that these explanations tend to be accurate, and so she is building a database of “reasonable suffering,” because she is being given proper barometers by which to gauge such a thing.

  2. modestypress Says:

    I think that explanation fits pretty well.

  3. renaissanceguy Says:

    My children have been pretty brave at the doctor or dentist, because we are with them. As David says, we tell them what will happen and why it is good for them, and they usually do okay. My daughter had a bad experience that instilled a phobia of injections in her, but I was able to help her through it.

    My kids know that they shouldn’t trust just any stranger, but they also know that when they are with us we will watch out for them.

  4. Average Jane Says:

    Yep, my daughter was exceptionally well behaved with dentists and doctors too. That might have been because she had this image of herself as a very well behaved little girl and hated creating a scene. It amazed and unnerved me not a little.


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