Parents! Whilst shouting at/ bribing/ coercing/ man-handling your children, have you ever wondered – “What would a child expert do in this situation?”
The good news is that as an experienced child psychiatrist with degrees in psychology and medicine, and years of experience in psychiatry, child psychiatry and child psychiatry research, I am happy to share all the secrets of my trade in this blog.
The bad news is; do we “experts” even really have a clue? You might like to mull over the fact that our currently available parenting commentators are either men (Steve Biddulph [Raising boys], Oliver James [How not to F*** them up]) or childless women (Jo Frost [Supernanny], Gina Ford [The contented little baby book]). Not that they cannot give valid and excellent advice, but really? Can they practice what they preach? Did Steve and Oliver give up all work to look after their children in the preschool years? Could Jo and Gina endure the gut-wrenching cries of their own babies and children? I certainly couldn’t; and shouting, bribery, coercion and man-handling are a regular part of my parenting repertoire!
Despite a decade of work and research in the field of children it was humbling to realize that commandments made from the ivory towers of medicine and academia were actually really hard to interpret and put into action in real life. Pre-children I had always felt confident that I would know what parenting was all about, I had dished out more parenting advice in my work than hot dinners, but suddenly reality hit, the nerves set in and I wondered: when it came down to actually parenting, was I up to it? How would this fit in with the practicalities of the day to day life of a modern day career woman? What really would happen if I bundled the beast off to nursery at 6 months? Will my child become violent if I smack? How can I make my kid brighter, happier and healthier, and crucially, if it all goes wrong…is it really all my fault?
This is not a “look at me the expert, and what a splendid job I’ve done” blog, not a “listen to me the expert, or your children will be mentally scarred for life” blog; but a blog in which I hope to honestly describe my personal take on parenthood and parenthood issues. It is primarily cathartic for me, but I hope that it will promote intelligent discussion and discourse on parenting related subjects from child-development to social policy and feminism, whether you agree with me or not.
I hope to provide information on a variety of issues that I have come across, but am happy to look into other interesting parenting issues, so if you have a burning desire to find out about something please engage.