View Full Version : How would you react to this?
12-05-2006, 12:07 PM
I took DS to the dr's for his 15-month check today. I was asking the ped how to handle DS's newly-discovered attitude and tantrums. I have been trying to ignore them or redirect him, once I tried time-out, but that didn't work (he's too young, I guess).
The ped told me to "treat him like an animal". He actually said that- he may have even said "dog". He said to get in his face and "growl NO" at him. I guess I understand his point- get on his level, make eye contact and tell him NO sternly. But did he have to say to treat him like an animal?! It caught me off-guard. I just kind of nodded and said okay, but was thinking- whoa, buddy, chill!
What would you have done? And is this really the best way to deal with his behavior? We do have a dog, so I'm used to that "in your face" discipline, but this seemed a bit harsh!
12-05-2006, 12:16 PM
Your ped is giving you one opinion of many out there. Certainly something I'd never feel comfortable doing or even hearing from my pediatrician. You can either let it go in one ear and out the other, or be more assertive and say "that's really not an option we are comfortable with as a family."
You did ask his advice, which IMO is different than him offering it unsolicited, but I agree, the advice would certainly make me uncomfortable. If you like him in general, I'd be inclined to just ignore his advice.
FWIW, a great resource on tantrums, etc. IMO is www.gentlechristianmothers.com. they have a gentle discipline board that is wonderful, even if you don't identify w/ being particularly relgious or Christian. The best advice I ever read on there is that tantrums are simply an immature expression of emotion from a little person. Don't punish the tantrum. It doesn't mean you have to "give in" to the cause, but the tantrum itself IMO isn't something to punish.
12-05-2006, 12:23 PM
I'll check out that website. You're right, I did ask for his advice, and I think I know where he was going with it, he just had an interesting way of describing it!
This is our second ped since we moved here 4 months ago. I miss our old practice so much! I have met one other doctor in this new practice, and liked her, so maybe I'll just have to start requesting her.
I've had some weird experiences in this new town...the sonographer told me to look at the "bun with the hamburger in the middle" when she told us we were having a girl. The ped today told me to treat my son like an animal, and then when he was doing the exam he was trying to find his "peanuts" and "little berries"- his words, not mine!!!
12-05-2006, 12:59 PM
It's only his advice, every ped will have a different theory on disciplining young toddlers. His does seem a little bit out there, though. Kind of reminds me an altered version of "Happiest Toddler on The Block" (which is a pretty good book as far as understanding young toddlers and their behavior, but he doesn't suggest treating your child like a dog!).
12-05-2006, 04:05 PM
Hmmm, I don't think I'd follow his advice, but to each his own. Remember, doctors are only educated and trained in children's physical health, not areas of parental discipline/behavior etc.
12-05-2006, 04:41 PM
You sure you didn't move to my town? This sounds all to familiar...
You asked his opinion about something that isn't a medical issue, and he gave it to you. If you don't like his opinion, which it sounds like you don't, just ignore it and move on, same as you would if you asked your mother/MIL/friends/BBBers the same question.
12-05-2006, 05:26 PM
I would have peed on his leg.
#1 Nick 11-18-04
#2 Kate 04-26-06
12-05-2006, 06:09 PM
ROFL!!!! I wouldn't have thought to say it this way, but ITA with Susan. You crack me up.
To the OP- I am pretty shocked to hear a ped say that. I'd probably bring it up again, but if you're happy all around, it's not necessarily a reason to switch dr's.
12-05-2006, 09:24 PM
LOL! Why didn't I think of that?! I should actually have had DS pee on his leg since he is clearly the "animal" in this scenario!!!
Next time I'll just post here and ask for advice!
12-05-2006, 09:25 PM
hmmm...We're in VA, not MI- kind of scary that there are more of them out there like this one!
12-05-2006, 10:44 PM
I would do one of the following 2 things
1) Get another dr
2) Keep this dr, but never again ask about the subject of discipline/child development when it not medically related
As far as what to do about your ds, I feel for you. That was a really hard age for me and I work in a place that specializes in children ages 0-6. From my experience up until you get very close to 2 yrs of age it is all about distraction from what you don't want them to do (try to distract with a substitute activity)...they are too young for consequences, reasoning, etc.
single mommy to a 3 yr old from Guatemala
12-05-2006, 11:14 PM
I would get a new pediatrician. But if he is an older guy, this is not that surprising. James Dobson's original Dare to Discipline, written in the 70s I believe, made this same comparison.
Ultimately, it shows your doctor is not up with the latest and best practices.
12-06-2006, 08:23 AM
He read the book Happiest Toddler on the Block! (Which I did not like all that much, the Baby version was much more helpful). They explain why babies are like little "neanderthals" (meant in a loving, explanatory way) and why if you get onto their level you can communicate better. Growling is a very primitive way to do that! Even a young baby can understand growling - it is built into us.
So now you know where he is coming from. He meant only good, I am sure.
By the way, I take my peds advise with a grain of salt in all but the purely *medical* issues. They do not learn child psychology in med school! Often they are no more qualified in child-rearing than we are!!!
Hope this helps,
www.SmithAngels.com - we want to adopt again! :)
12-06-2006, 08:36 AM
I wouln't get a new pediatrician at all. I used to ask similar questions here on BBB when I was more active, and that was the standard answer...get a new ped. Well, I've learned a few lessons over the years now. It's hard for anyone to accept being told how to raise their own kids and sometimes it's just not exactly not the same way as you would. Did he say anything horribly offensive? Was it something that could hurt your child terribly? Nah. I think he was trying to make an analogy for you. When my ped told me I could start solids at 4 months, everyone said run for the hills...get a new ped. Well, in retrospect, while it's not something I agree with, it wasn't really anything to make or break continuing to see this ped. I just started at 6 months, when I was more comfortable. So, do I agree I might have raised an eyebrow to "treat him like and animal" I may see what his analogy might have been, and I don't think it was harmful. JMO.
12-06-2006, 08:52 AM
Thanks for all of your input!
I think I see a little more clearly where this doc was coming from. He has been practicing for 25 years, so I guess he just has a little of that "old school" thinking. I don't think he meant any harm, it was just not exaclty the analogy I was expecting!
This practice is the second one I've tried in the four months we've lived here. I do like the other doctor I met in the practice, and there is one other I'd like to meet, too. The other two are women (which I think is good for me as a Mama). We can use the man more when DS gets a little older and may feel more comfortable seeing a male doctor.
I don't want to have to switch again- it's such a hassle!
12-06-2006, 10:26 AM
Wow, I'm sorry, but this made me have a laughing fit! As people have said on other topics, sometimes peds have good parenting advice, sometimes not, but it's coming from a personal, rather than professional place a lot of times. I've never heard this. I think my response would've been to Crack Up laughing right then and there!
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