How do you know?

How do you know what the right thing to do is?

M has eczema and allergies and he really, really hates using his medicine. When he was younger it was simply routine to apply them twice daily but he’s nine years old now and since he was seven he has been resisting- a lot.

He’s a young man and I have to respect his wishes, after all it is his body. The alternative is what? Forcing him? Then what?

Would it be acceptable to forcibly apply medication to the body of a teenager or adult? Of course not. It isn’t acceptable to do that to a child either.

How do you get a child to understand the importance of something and to do it even if they don’t like it?

Maybe I’ve been too lenient and he should just do as he’s told and shut up about it?

That’s just not how we parent.

We all deserve to be respected and that includes children. It is right that children be trusted and respected just as it is vital for them to know that being frustrated or angry or sad is normal. We do, however, have a responsibility to ensure our reactions are managed and appropriate.

Easier said than done.

Imagine being itchy all over all the time and having to use two or three emollients twice daily on top of taking oral medicine and inhalers and this is topped off with not being able to eat the nice things you want that everyone else can have.

I think I’d be screaming in frustration.

So, back to my question, how do you know what the right thing to do is?

And how do you get a child to understand and accept that thing?

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