parents

Is my child normal?

Mia

by MIA FREEDMAN

When I was working at Channel 9, I had this idea for a show: Is My Child Normal?

I thought it was quite genius (I didn’t last long as a TV executive, clearly). It wasn’t going to be a reality show, more like a lifestyle show. Like Getaway or something. OK, yes, I was a bit short on the details but the premise was FANTASTIC.

Because really, it’s the secret question every parent asks at various times, during various stages when their child starts doing something a bit baffling.

Some parents ask this question more than others. About some kids more than others. But I have to say there have been moments in all my kids’ lives from birth until now where I’ve gone “Hmmmm” or even “WTF?!?”.

We all want reassurance that whatever odd thing our kid is doing or saying or eating or wearing is… you know… on the normal spectrum. We all want someone to wash away our secret worries with a conspiratorial laugh and a “Oh totally normal! My kid did that same thing and now she’s a Rhodes Scholar.”

Yes, I know what you’re thinking: why don’t you just ask your friends. It’s not that simple. Firstly, not everyone has a ‘village’ of friends and family around them to provide advice and reassurance (read THIS post to find out why).

And even if you do, parenting can make you feel vulnerable. Too vulnerable to risk sharing something with someone who knows you – and your child –  to have them say “What? No. That’s totally fucked up.”

The main reason though is that the sample size of your audience is too small to be of any use. If you say to your friend or sister in law or co-worker “Um, hey did your child ever play with their bellybutton until they turned it from an innie to an outie?” then it’s very likely they will say no.

Kids do so many weird different things that the chances of you finding someone in your inner circle whose kid did the same thing is teeny tiny. Almost non-existent.

Which brings me to this post. Right here right now. As a community service, Mamamia is going to offer up this post as a way for parents to seek reassurance from other parents who already have runs on the board.

I shall go first by leaving the first comment.

Please leave your comment and if you have kids – or know kids – please scan the comments and reply to anyone who might benefit from your wisdom or advice.

Go forth and reassure!

To read more about tools to track your child’s development, go here.