People have been raising children since the first humans walked the earth. There is nothing new under the sun. Your precious little bundle of joy is not the first one to do that special thing or reach that particular milestone. That doesn’t stop you from spamming all your friends with the latest baby videos and pictures of that thing they have seen a million times before.
We have also seen other things happen a million times before. But those things aren’t the stuff of baby pictures and videos. I am referring to the things that don’t go according to plan. All parents are terrified of the things that could go wrong. But they are always caught off guard when they happen. Here are a few of those things that catch parents off guard, and what you can do about them:
Substance Abuse Disorder
No one looks at a small child and sees a future sufferer of substance abuse disorder. There are no visible signs when a person is 6, that they will need professional treatment by the time they are 16. This is from a guide to teen substance abuse:
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), people are most likely to begin abusing alcohol as well as illegal and prescription drugs during adolescence. In fact, by the time they are seniors, almost 70 percent of high school students will have tried alcohol, half will have taken an illegal drug, and more than 20 percent will have used a prescription drug for non-medical purposes.
By the time parents become aware of their child’s alcohol or drug use, the problem may have already escalated to something that requires professional intervention. Don’t let your surprise push you into denial. Denial leads to delayed treatment. Early intervention is the key to successful recovery. Kids experiment with substances. Don’t let your child’s experimental stage catch you by surprise.
The good news is there are many things parents can do to improve your kid’s health and fight child obesity. There is nothing wrong with the occasional video game. But children need to exercise more than their thumbs. Get them out and active. It is also necessary to control access to the kitchen. None of these things are meaningful if you are not a role model for the desired behavior.
The bad news is that according to the CDC, obesity is prevalent among children between 2 and 5 years old at a rate of almost 14%. The numbers get worse at higher age ranges.
Signs of child obesity are not always easy to spot. Babies always have an extra layer of fat. It would be unusual if they didn’t. young children are often considered chubby, cherubic, and pleasantly plump. We worry when they are too thin. Well-meaning relations want to thicken them up and put a little meat on their bones.
At a certain age, a little extra weight is considered healthy while too little weight is considered a problem. At some point, those few extra pounds are transformed into a life-long battle with weight and body image. Even before the pounds start accumulating, take notice if your child is eating more than he is exercising, if he prefers sedentary activities, and if his food preferences tend toward the unhealthy.
It is natural for children to lose teeth. Baby teeth are replace by their permanent counterparts. But there comes a time when teeth should be healthy and strong, not weak and brittle. By 13, your child should have a full set of permanent teeth.
During these Tooth Fairy years, other problems can arise. When the mouth does not form correctly, braces might be necessary. Eight years old is probably the youngest this should happen.
This is never a fun time for kids. It is no picnic for parents either, especially when they get the bill. The average cost is between $3,000 and $7,000. It makes a root canal seem downright cheap by comparison. If you had to wear braces when you were a kid, start saving early. Not wanting it to happen is no excuse for being unprepared when it does.
That is true for all the things that come up during a child’s development. Some things are as inevitable as time itself. Teens experiment with substances, a large percentage of children will suffer from obesity. And early dental troubles are as old as the Tooth Fairy. You don’t have to live in fear of these things. But you do have to live in preparation.