How do you know you are right?

I don’t. I was talking to my shrink yesterday about when I intervene in peoples lives and the consequences that come from doing so. They asked me how do I know that I am right, how do I decide when to intervene? Well… I never know for sure that I’m right. No one does.

I go by a combination of intellectual knowledge and gut feeling. I wait for patterns of children freaking out before I get all up in someone’s face. I don’t get bossy about children I only know for a few weeks. I don’t know them well enough to know what they need and I’m super aware of that. But when I hang out with folks for half a year or many years… I get to know the kids. I watch behavior patterns.

I’m like your friendly neighborhood weirdo watching your kids for signs of distress. Hi.

I watch for consistent distress. That’s when I get pushy. How do I know I’m right? I think that certainty is a lie people tell themselves. I do a fantastic amount of research, I look for patterns, then I pray.

I’m right a lot of the time though.

I need to get off the forums. Forums are largely gatherings of mean girls. I learn some interesting things and mostly I watch a bunch of fucking bullies. And holy criminey the advice is often terrible.

“My kid uses me as a lovey and I hate it so how do I make them stop.” Well, if your kid is trying to comfort themselves as a baby with knowing you are present… you can convince them that you won’t actually be there for them and they are abandoned… Good luck with coming back here in a few years and saying, “I don’t understand why my kid has anxiety issues.” Because i swear to cheese these threads are back to back.

I’m not saying that attachment parenting is the only way. I’m saying that refusing attachment has consequences.

“Just make the kid cry. They’ll get over it.”

That makes me cringe. Kids sorta get over it. They shut down the desire to ask for contact.

I mean, there’s a certain level at which the relationship is a dyad and it has to work for both parties. But not wanting your kids to take comfort from you… that’s too much.

No more forums. They are depressing as shit.

If they were complaining about 6 or 7 year olds being too grabby I’d totally have advice about negotiating. These are almost always people with one year olds. That’s just sad.

If you are seriously anti snuggling a one year old STOP HAVING CHILDREN. Oh my god.

You are their entire world at one year old. Trying to convince them to not depend on you… that leaves scars. I understand that daycare is a fact of life for many families. I’m not arguing with parents needing their children to tolerate other caregivers. But if when your child is around you… it makes you angry that your kids need physical contact… that’s really sad.

Kids need hugs. It’s not optional.

Why do I speak up even when I don’t know for sure that I’m right? Because folks waited for absolute certainty with me and ended up doing nothing. That was the wrong choice.

2 thoughts on “How do you know you are right?

  1. Anonymous

    Food for thought: many toddler moms who feel smothered by physical touch have post-partum depression or PTSD, often undiagnosed. For those moms, as I’m sure you know all too well, too much touch can be triggering, especially if they don’t have any sort of respite care. So although the child’s needs are paramount, ideally there’s a way to give the mom a break too so she can heal and be there for her children as needed. Fathers should be involved, or if that’s not possible than there may be other ways for the community to rally. In a pinch, a mom has to put on her own oxygen mask before she can care for others.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      I’ve had PTSD for many more years than I’ve had children. I have not done a day of parenting without having PTSD.

      I believe there are moments when mothers need to care for themselves. But if that turns into “I don’t want to comfort you” stop having children.

      I even said in the forking post “I mean, there’s a certain level at which the relationship is a dyad and it has to work for both parties. But not wanting your kids to take comfort from you… that’s too much.”

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