Admit it. We all do this. Even me. We have some sort of perceived child crisis (of whatever magnitude) and we head to do research. After all, someone out there must be able to tell us what to do in this time of need. We look to Dr. Sears, or in the past, Dr. Spock. We pull out "What to Expect" (whichever version we might need) or countless other parenting books.
But do we ever stop to think,"what if my answer isn't in here?" If kids are each unique individuals, is there any book that can speak to what might be going on in that moment for them? Maybe. We exhibit similar enough behaviors to have some ideas of why some things happen. What I'm interested as I write this is what makes it so difficult for parents to trust within their self that they might have the answer.
No child comes with an instruction manual. As I tell the new moms that I work with, somehow, that got lost when the placenta was being delivered. It would be quite handy if this wasn't the case. I'm not saying that experts (or in some cases, so-called experts) don't have wisdom in the forms of understanding research, practical experience, and book learning, but to expect that one (or several) people can distill your answer in a 200 page book might not be realistic.
I wonder about how we make the decisions to trust the experts we lean on. Perhaps because we hear about them from a friend or a family member that got something of value from them. Or we saw them on TV. (The Oprah seal of approval still goes far!) We all choose a doctor for our personal health--how did that decision get made? Did we read reviews? Pick a name from the list of in-network providers from our insurance plan? Was it a recommendation from someone we know?
As you search for answers along your parenting journey, certainly look to and seek out experts. Think about how you go about this. And ask yourself if you might have some answers.