As a parent with a child about to turn one, it’s hard not to look at all the arbitrary check lists out there to make sure one’s child is “on track.”
As nice as it is to have Google at our fingertips with all of its normative statistics to catch red flags in development, I often wonder if it sometimes does more harm than good…
I see the negative effects of this in my own profession. Take the DSM 5 for example. The DSM 5 is the diagnostic manual of mental health and substance abuse disorders.
As a professional therapist, I’m pretty sure I could take any average person and give them a completely “appropriate” diagnosis based on the guidelines and criteria of the book.
This book, by the way, changes every several years as new “experts” redefine and re-categorize human behavior. Being 100 percent truthful, I myself, might also qualify for several disorders!
In fact, in many of my counseling sessions, I often find myself doing therapy to counteract the diagnoses given to my clients-“anxiety, depression, addict”- just to get my clients to see that labels don’t define them- only you define you!
Anyways, I digress. Nevertheless, I wonder then, has this same logic trickled down to our children? And if so, how does the affect a new parent?
I recently read an article that I believe has a great perspective on it all..
“Your job (as a parent)? Show unconditional love, patience, and protection. Any issues they run into during development can, and likely will, be corrected by the time it matters. And if it isn’t, you have one question to answer: Are they otherwise healthy, happy, and loved?”