I am a proud mother of a three years young curious little boy who, like any other child his age, keeps on bombarding me with his never ending “why, what, when, how” questions. And believe me, until I give some “reasonable answer” to his weird questions, he will not stop bullying me. But then I love all his silly questions and try and answer them as rationally and reasonably as he can at his age understand.
I am a Doctor Mom and do two shifts every day. Every-time I leave for clinic, my son will get sad,would hug me tight and wont let me go.This has been happening everyday for past almost 2 years. And everyday I have to give him the same excuse that someone is really sick at hospital and they need my help to feel better. Off late, since he is more inquisitive now, once I am back from work, he showers me with questions like
” What had happened to your patient?”
” Why did it happen to him?”
” How can he prevent it from happening in future again?”
“How did you treat him”
In the beginning I gave him broad answers like the patient caught flu or he had fever or he hurt his knees. But these general stuff never satisfied him enough. He kept inquiring
“Why did he have flu”
“How did he hurt his knees”
“What causes fever”
Now I was finding it difficult to tackle his curious mind. I could not give him a proper medical answer coz he wont understand that. I also did not want to give him some foolish kiddish cartoonish answer coz I did not want him to always be in a fairy tale land. I want him to grow up with rationale thinking and practical outlook.
Beside this, the other everyday problem I was facing was to teach him simple rules of living like eating veggies, washing hands regularly, being careful while crossing roads or keeping toys in place. Being a pampered child, he would not listen to any of my commands until I gave him proper reasoning or practical demonstration about why it was necessary to do these daily chores.
One fine evening, after work when I was narrating my day’s story to my son, I realized why not make such stories which will keep him interested and also help me teach him something valuable. So here went my first story
“The patient bumped his head because his son did not keep toys in place and the dad slipped over one of his toy cars. The patient was crying so bad. Then his son promised to keep his toys always in place” And voila!!! since then, apart from few exceptional days, he has been keeping his toys in place out of the fear that someone might trip over his toys and get hurt.
Then I made few more stories
“Today a small boy came to me. He left his mumma’s hand while crossing the road and ran away. Suddenly a car coming at high speed stopped right in-front of him. Out of shock, he fell down and hurt himself.”
“The girl never let her mom cut her nails. All the germs made their house under her nails-the brown black spot you see under the nails are their houses. They slowly started travelling up her hands to her mouth to find food there and then gave her bad tummy ache”
“A little boy came to me with a limp. He had fallen from stairs as he was not holding the railing. due to the fall he broke a small bone coz his bones were very weak as he never drank milk. Milk gives us strong bones.”
Any many more…… In fact till date, everyday, I have to think of a patient story to tell him while I am on my way back home. He is excited to listen about my patient characters every single day and to my relief at least few stories make home in his tiny mind and he tries to implement few learning from them.
My medical profession gives me this leverage to make a fake educational patient story, just to inculcate few good and healthy habits in my little son. I am sure every mom invents such stories very often for the same reasons. But un-fortunately I have come across many parents who use illogical reasoning and un-necessary fears in order to get a work done. All I dislike is filling up young hearts with irrational ideas like
“monsters would come”
“police will take you away”
“a man with bag will come and fill you in and take you away from parents”
According to me these fears should not have any place in the growing inquisitive tiny minds. One of my nephews, who was similarly treated, now says “let the police or the man or the monster take me away” coz still after so many years of scaring him, none of them has ever appeared at his doorway.
I am not sure for how long I might keep my son interested in these stories, but as of now both of us are happy. He gets to hear a new story everyday and I try to instill some good thoughts ideas in him, in whatever little time we get to spend together.
I am sure, even you must be having some personal innovative ideas for your kids? I would love to hear from you…may be I get a new trick to broaden my son’s horizons from your ideas…..