Monday, October 17, 2005

Don't Kill Me With Criticism

My poor son is down with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease (HFM). The house has been rather quiet since yesterday. My bouncy toddler has lost all appetite whatsoever. So far he's only had a few spoonsful of nestum and a little bit of steamed egg. Trying to get him hydrated is also a losing battle for me. The only thing he is willing to drink is his chocolate milk. And thank goodness he is a die-hard breastfeeding toddler (I never thought I would say such a thing after many failed attempts at weaning.) At least I know he is getting some breastmilk.

Talking about breastfeeding my toddler brings me to the topic of the importance of complimenting children. How does the two relate? Well, it so happened that I was talking to my mother about my son's condition. And I mentioned about how glad I was that he at least was able to take in some breastmilk. My feelings of gladness was immediately killed with this comment "Aiyah, your breastmilk is not nutritious anymore. Why don't you give him some formula milk?" Well, thanks for the vote of confidence mom.
This is not the first time I'm dished out criticism when looking for support. Yeah it's good intentions on her part, but it didn't make me feel good. It's like opening a present only to find worms inside.

I realized lately that I tend to get very contentious with my mom. Like when I found myself getting defensive with her followup calls today suggesting how to help Damus e.g. boil barley water and get a certain chinese medicine for ulcers. Good intentions? Definately. So why the ill feelings? Because it wasn't what I wanted to hear. What I needed to hear was something like "Tell me what you're doing....That's good Lian. I can see you're doing the best you can. It is tough. He's in good hands."

Anyway, this got me thinking, please don't let me make the same mistake with my children. As parents we have a tendency to think we were put on this planet to solve all our children's problems. Yeah, to a certain extend we do have that responsibility. But while we are busy playing Mommy/Daddy-Fix-It, we must not neglect to support and compliment. Don't you agree that the many times we pour our troubles, fears, and anxieties on someone else is to seek for empathy and support and not so much to seek for solutions?

We have to remember that diseases, illnesses, accidents and natural disasters are not the only killers in this world. Words are just as powerful as they effect the human soul. Let us not kill our children with our criticism. So if any of you see me playing Ms-Fix-It, kick me and remind me to do the more important, Ms-Listen-Support-and-Compliment.


  1. so sorry to hear that damus is ill..I do hope he gets better!

    I so agree with you about the critism part. Instead of supporting and empathizing us, my mum tried to solve my/our problems with Ashley and it really ticks me off! At times, I need her to be stronger than I am ....just to keep me going....but instead she make matters worse! My husband tries to bring my sanity level to a safe zone...but stttilll????

  2. Hope he and you both feel better soon! You are doing a great job!

  3. Damus is sooo much better now. Jumping off the walls like his usual self.

    Dinah: I know what you mean. Thank goodness for good husbands.

    Hollie: Thank you for the kind words. Words of comfort are forever welcomed and cherished.

  4. Extremly sorry to hear that Damus is not well.I do hope he gets better soon . Very soon. You are doing great keep it up.


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