Can your own perceptions of your child’s health affect it?
Dr. Tracy Lieu, author of a study in the October 8, 2008, Pediatrics, thinks so. She surveyed parents of 700 asthmatic children and found parents’ low expectations led to more poorly controlled asthma.
In a Science Daily interview, Dr. Lieu said:
Our findings suggest that parents’ expectations and perceptions are key factors influencing how well their children’s asthma is controlled, and how effectively they use medications. … Raising parents’ expectations for how well their children can be doing with asthma may be one of the keys to reducing racial/ethnic disparities in asthma outcomes.
I was reminded of this study after reading Dr. J’s post on how a little dirt is not always bad. We’re finding exposing our kids to a little outside activity helps their immune system recognize and remember what to fight. Also, kids who have a pet at a young age may have a less chance of asthma. Who’d a thunk?
Of course, kids do need guidance and limits. I once had a mother bring in her 8-year-old with a cut that needed sutures. She told me she would let her son make that decision because she let him make all his own decisions. Hmmm. Luckily, he decided to get the stitches.
Your child takes cues from you. Don’t just be a constant nervous ninny. It takes some work and a lot of faith, but become a lay-expert on any of their health problems and get the treatment needed. Take precautions for real dangers, but find positive, creative ways to circumvent their impairments. Set reasonable expectations with plenty of praise. It will usually make them happier and healthier.
What do you think? How do you cope?
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