Two weeks ago, I took Ryan to the dentist because I noticed that his permanent teeth were coming out but the milk teeth were still very much intact. The dentist recommended that 3 milk teeth be pulled out to give way for the new ones. As she explained that she would have to administer anesthesia injections, Ryan started to cry and just wanted me to take him home. As a mom, I was faced with a decision. A dominant parent would say “You’re being a baby! Just stop crying, sit still and let the dentist do her job!” A permissive parent would say “Oh son, I don’t want you to cry. Let’s just go home and forget all about the dentist.” A neglectful parent would say “Oh fine! Do what you want to do! I really don’t care what happens to your teeth!” A loving parent would say “I know it’ll hurt but I’ll be here to hold your hand the whole time.”
A loving parent gives all the love and caring her child needs but at the same time enforces her authority when she needs to. She is sensitive to her child’s desires and needs but doesn’t necessarily give in to everything especially when it’s not for the best of her child. She knows how to balance rules and relationship. She does what has to be done yet gives her 100% support as well. Honestly, I sometimes swing back and forth the pendulum and see myself as a dominant parent one day, and a neglectful one the next day, that’s why I always ask God to help me be the loving parent that I should be.
Ryan left the dental clinic that day sore from his teeth extractions. As a loving parent, or at least that’s what I aim to be :), I sat with him the whole time and massaged his legs during the procedure. Then we went for ice cream.