Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You're the EXPERT!

When it comes to your child, YOU are the real expert. You know your child better than anybody else, so always trust your instincts. Unfortunately, this message is sometimes obscured by authors who offer a "formula" for parenting. I remember the first time I read the Preparation for Parenthood material by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo about 15 years ago. In that early edition they made the outrageous statement (one of many) that mothers don't have instincts like animals do. They told mothers not to be misguided into thinking their maternal instincts would guide them in their parenting. On the opposite side of this debate, Dr. William Sears (my hero), urges mothers to trust their gut instincts when it comes to their babies. He wisely recognizes that a mother really is the expert on her child.

So what difference does this make in your parenting style? If you really believe that you are the expert on your child, you will be willing to do whatever it takes to get the answers you think your child needs. If that means changing pediatricians, you will do it. If that means changing schools, you'll do it. If that means pulling your child out of school to homeschool, you'll even do that.

Parenting is not a "one size fits all" easy formula. Each child is unique, and nobody understands that better than a mother! My fourteen year old daughter had been increasingly miserable in her Christian school. I love her school and think it's wonderful. But her class just wasn't a good fit for her. As I looked at the major personality changes I was seeing because she was so unhappy, I knew that we had to make a change. Homeschooling is the right solution for her. If I tried to pull my 10 year old out of that same Christian school, however, he would be distraught. He absolutely loves everything about his school!

If you are just starting the parenting journey, or you're expecting your first baby, the most important advice I can give you is to trust yourself! If God chose you to be the mother of this precious child, He will give you the wisdom you need to understand the nuances of your baby's personality. Never let anyone convince you otherwise. Remember, YOU'RE THE EXPERT!


  1. Great post! This sentiment is behind the subtitle of my book, in fact. So glad to have found you in the twitterverse!