Like all mothers, i received alot of comments and advices on how i should raise my child. I believe all are well meaning but it brought alot of unnecessary stress not only on me but N as well.
When N was a year old, he refused to sit on his chair and eat his meal proper. He'd attempt to climb and fidget but worst of all didn't eat his meal. But, when i let him run free he ate very well. I had no choice but to concede because i wanted him to eat. However, many mothers said i should 'discipline' him and insist that he sits on the chair. I tried my might but couldn't. I thought i failed.
Also, N was a suckaholic. He needed to be nurse by me to sleep, day & night till about 2.5 years old. It didn't sit well with ALOT of mothers who strongly adviced me to 'train' him to sleep on his own. The method they recommended was to let him cry on his own. Although i tried, i just couldn't help feeling it was too cruel to put so much stress on a young child especially when he is trying to sleep- which, ironically, is suppose to be a peaceful thing. Again, i thought i failed.
And more relevant to me now, is the Potty training. ALL of my friends' 3 year olds are potty trained before 3. I admit, initially i was too lazy to train N and delayed it. I tried to train him about a few months ago, but i had great difficulty. He refused to take off his diaper, even if he did, he'd cling on to me and sob. I had no choice but to cease the training. I thought i failed.
If not for the other mothers, i would never have been too concern about all these. Deep in me, i knew that eventually N would sit and eat, sleep on his own and be diaper free. My guiding thought was this: Have you ever seen a grown man being chased by his mother with a spoon during his business lunch? Have you ever seen a adult needing to be nursed to sleep? Have you ever seen a man wearing a diaper? Any normal person will eventually grow out of these and i knew N would be no exception.
True enough, N woke up one day and decided to sit on his chair for his meals - no discipline was involved. On another day, he magically slept on his own- no training, no crying. Minimal effort. As with potty training, i started this last week and miracously, i didn't get any violent objection. Instead, he was 'accident' free after a mere 2-3 days, and the training wasn't even intensive mind you.
This is what i've learnt. As with educating our children, if he is is not ready, he is not ready. No amount of forcing, scolding will make him ready. It always baffles me why some parents insist on training and imposing so much stress on a young child? The best thing a mother can do, is to wait for the child to be ready. When that happens, any kind of training will be easy and with minimal effort. Yeah, some children will take a longer time (like mine) but they WILL eventually come round to it. You just have to trust your child.