Yesterday, we had to admit my daughter into the hospital.
She’s had on and off fever for three days straight, and her white blood cells are a high 38,000 count. The average count for white blood cells for babies her age is just a mere 15,000.
Last night, she’s had an x-ray, results of which were normal, and had her IV inserted. It’s terrible too her crying like a banshee for 15 to 20 minutes as the resident doctor struggles to put the IV in.
But the IV is a necessary evil. Since her appetite has dropped, the IV is the one that’s giving her sustenance. What’s more, it’s how the antibiotics are given. Without the IV, we would have to prick her more than necessary.
I talk about the IV because my daughter hates it. She keeps on saying “Bye Bye” to anyone who would listen because she’s tired of the hospital and wants to go home.
Do I want to punish my daughter? No.
Does it bring me joy to see her thrash around, cry and scream and struggle? No.
Do I want to keep her in the hospital longer than we should? No.
But we need to admit her in the hospital. We need to put the IV in and we give her antibiotics. We know she hates where she is right now, but we force her to stay because it’s for her own good. If she doesn’t stay in the hospital, she won’t get well. Her fever might get worse and goodness knows what will happen.
And I think that’s what parenting is…
Parenting is making tough decisions on behalf of your child. Children hate it when parents say, “It’s for your own good!” But if you really think about it, this is true.
We don’t do things to please our children. We don’t go and ask them what they want to happen. They’re kids.
More often than not, they don’t have the experience, the means or the maturity to make the right decisions. For example, if you ask my 17 month old daughter what she wants, she would want to go home.
She would not want the needles and the IV nor would she want to stay in the hospital and undergo tests.
But if she went home, what will happen to her? Will she get better? Of course not. In fact, shell just get worse.
So we keep her here in the hospital, against her wishes. And we shut our ears from her loud cries and keep her in her IV.
And she’s very miserable about it.
But what can we do? Sure, as good parents, we want them to be happy but parenting involves making unpopular decisions for the good of our children.
We are not their friends. We are their parents. And we do things for their own good even if they hate us.
So as our kids get older, I will remember the time my daughter is helplessly stuck in the hospital getting antibiotics to heal her.
I will remember this when she doesn’t want to study and want to go out with her friends to the mall.
I will remember this when she wants to do an overnight with her barkada.
I will remember this when she wants to date somebody who I believe isn’t good for her.
I will remember this when she makes a decision that isn’t good for her.
And I will tell her, firmly, no.
And that it’s for her own good.
Sure, my decision might be wrong and she may hate me, but I can live with that than to support her as she make big mistakes. I will keep to my principles but be open to her trying to change my mind. I will change my mind if I think there’s reason to do so, and not because she said so.
Most parents will not agree. Permissive parenting is popular nowadays. Parents want kids to be happy and are supportive even though they think their kids are making the wrong decisions.
Not me, I’ll stick to my guns and wait to be persuaded otherwise. Because I love her and want the best for her. And I want her to be truly happy, and that involves making the right life decisions.
Have a great weekend!