Monday, September 22, 2008

It Takes a Village

Riding the NY Subway over the weekend, I was not surprised to see a 2 yr old having a meltdown. Mid-afternoon, probably missed her nap, tired and crabby. She was hitting her Mom and screaming, didn't want to get into her stroller, and Mom was threatening her with a time out on a crowded subway. God bless her. I heard Mom say, "Do you want a time out? I'll put you in the time out chair!" At that point I stood up and gestured to my open spot and said, "Look, a time out chair!" Mom looked at me gratefully and sat her child down. She thanked me, and I told her, "That's okay, I'm a pediatrician. Thank you for letting me help you." She said, "That's allright, it takes a village to raise a child these days...." The girl of course was having none of the discipline, squirming out of the chair, but Mom was dutifully putting her right back in. I walked her through it, and then we actually put her back in her stroller for the remainder of her time out since she kept squirming out of my seat. I told Mom to turn the stroller away from her so she wasn't getting any attention, and the toddler slowly calmed herself down. I kept giving Mom verbal support during the tantrum, and she seemed grateful (actually mentioned that "The time out thing is sort of new to her.") When the toddler was quiet, Mom took her out and gave her a hug and some juice, and she was fine for the remainder of the subway ride.

I wish for more moments like this, where we can help one another raise well disciplined, secure, happy children. God bless that Mom and her daughter, and a special blessing for her having the courage to take some help.


Mean Mommy said...

You know, it DOES take courage to accept help, to not look at it as judgment, as in, "you obviously can't handle this, let me do it."

I think that's why we often hesitate to offer help, too, so good for you for extending your hand. There have been times in my parenting life that I would have been so grateful for that kind of support.

I did have another mother help me get my flailing child into a grocery cart seat once, when she wouldn't bend her legs, and it was all I could do just to hold on to her! Even that small gesture was a such a relief.

I wish scenarios like this one would happen more often, too.

meanie said...

it's too easy to get defensive in this society of "perfection". good for her for accepting help. good for you for stepping in.

MeanMommyDoc said...

Thanks, MMs!