Why are we hesitant to consult parenting experts?

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Confessions of a scooter mom

I fell in love with driving scooters when I moved to Taiwan in 2000. I used to see mothers taking their kids to school in the mornings, cringe about safety issues and think to myself ‘that’ll never be me.’ Never say never.

I am now a true ‘scooter-momma’. I take my eldest to school every day on my scooter. We both wear proper helmets, we go slowly, we take the backroads. Despite all that, I know that some of my western friends and family remain uncomfortable (or outright horrified) with my decision to take my boys on a scooter.

Getting ready to take my eldest to his first day at “big boy school”

Getting ready to take my eldest to his first day at “big boy school”

Consulting experts

I know and understand how to take basic care of my scooter. I know that running out of gas is bad, air in the tires is good and that regular maintenance and a little TLC are essential for my scooter to stay roadworthy.

Why is it then that when there is a problem with my scooter, no one would question my right to have a scooter, or my skills as a driver, if I were to consult a trained mechanic? What if my washing machine broke down? Would my peers think me a bad wife for not knowing how to return it to good working order? No.

If we’re sick, we consult a doctor. If we’re unfit, we consult a physical trainer. If we’re in debt, we consult a financial advisor.

So why is it that when we’re struggling with parenting (something that we only get one chance to get right) do we hesitate to consult a specialist?

The answer, to me at least, seems self-evident. We do not want to be judged. Because I am the mother, because I have ovaries, somehow I am expected by society at large to have all the answers. I am expected to know what I am doing at all times. And if I admit that I do not, then I have somehow failed.

I don’t know about you, but I feel this pressure ALL THE TIME.

When my son has a tantrum in a department store it must surely be because I am a bad mom. When he refuses to eat his vegetables it must surely be because I am a bad mom. When he hits another kid out of frustration it must surely be because I am a bad mom.

Could it be that he has tantrums, refuses to eat his vegetables and sometimes lashes out in frustration because he’s four years old?

It is my job as a parent to teach him right from wrong. It’s our job as parents to instill manners, morals and decent values in our children. It’s also our job to give our children age appropriate strategies to deal emotionally with the challenges that they face, and will face, in their lives.

But that being said, I’m a first-time parent to my eldest and I’m neither a trained child psychologist nor behavioural expert. I too am trying to get myself to a mental place where I would be comfortable consulting a specialist, if necessary, in order to improve my parenting. The sad part is, that I’m not sure that I would tell anyone if I did. Is this one of the last stigmas out there?

Featured Image Credit: Amy McTigue via Compfight cc

My name is Jodie. I'm a 38 year old Canadian working and living in Bangkok, Thailand. My husband and I are both international teachers - though I'm taking this year off to be a full-time mom.

When we're not busy with other people's kids, we try our hand at raising our own very curious nearly four year old son and his 9 and half month old brother. When it comes to parenting, like most of us, I’m making a lot of it up as I go along .

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