Without compulsory means

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  • Chieftess Ivins, UT
    July 16, 2011 2:52 p.m.

    We have a son with Down's syndrome. Raising him has been a gentle reminder that children simply don't experience true character growth when raised by coercive methods. They don't learn to make good choices for themselves so what's the point, except a parent's convenience? I have often wondered how to get my mommy job done without coercion and come to the same conclusion as Thomas' mom, Kathryn; compulsory means just don't feel right and never will. Even when everyone tells us something different, we have to listen to that mother's instinct, and be creative.

    PS We got our son off bottles around the same age as your son by offering only milk in the bottle. Other drinks such as sugar free punch we offered in a juice bottle with a straw and when he felt like experimenting he could slowly get used to it, on his terms. Later, we only offered milk in a bottle two times a day (morning and night) and in a cup with a lid the other times. He could reject it if he wanted to. Eventually he decided it was OK and even accepted a cup in the morning. Took forever.

  • jans Pickerington, OH
    July 6, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    You know, call me crazy, but I don't think that the author was looking for people to educate her, or berate her, or whatever it was some of these comments indicate. She is sharing her challenges with a special needs child, and frankly, it made me cry because I felt the love and concern she has for her little boy and how hard it is to know the right thing to do in every situation. Can we have no compassion, love, or understanding for a mother and father who are struggling to find the right way for one of their children, without making a judgement?

  • justaguy Out There in, WI
    July 6, 2011 1:38 p.m.

    It can be tough. You have to take it one day at a time and rejoice in the small steps of progress. Sometimes the goal just has to be different from what it might be for a child that does not have Down Syndrome.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    July 5, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    What I see here is parents who want to force growth (at first.)

    Heavenly Father doesn't do that. Why should we?

  • Amy's Mom OREM, UTAH
    July 4, 2011 6:33 p.m.

    Bob P. It will be interesting if they turn out to be emotionally strong, or will they be big, fat things. Even nursing mothers usually nurse over 9 months.

    This was a lovely article about a mother-son bond. A Downs-syndrome child is a more needful child.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    July 4, 2011 5:56 p.m.

    It seems that the child has learned how to dominate his parents. Wait until he is a teenager and your family will be even more.

    My wife and I had four kids in six years. None of them had a bottle after about 9 months if age. 3.5 years is ludicrous.

  • greenman108 Petaluma, CA
    July 4, 2011 2:55 p.m.

    The other elements of Thomas' life include infant-like 'abilities' or adaptations.

    I want to hear back about this, in another year. The way to address this in my opinion is to farm out the duty. If Thomas is among strangers he wont get to play upon the heart strings of mommy.

    If Thomas is to adapt beyond baby-adaptations, something is going to have to change. Its not like he cant hold a cup. He wont. He is refusing to enter into society.

    July 4, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    I respect a mother's intuition. It was nice to see Dad involved, too!

    I would also suggest a series of targeted rewards offered for the cup transition, instead of withholding of fluids/bottle. There are many other motivational, behavioral interventions that could be employed that may be easier on both of you. The child may be motivated by something other than food and water. (My apologies if this has been previously tried, I'm new to your writing.)

    Having a child that doesn't fit into the 'mold' (mine has Asperger's) forces us parents to get really creative! It can be so hard on parents when our child doesn't fit into the norm. I truly admire your effort but hope that parents don't use it as an excuse to give into a child for expediency sake, or discomfort on our part. I see so many (frustrated)parents use the 'free agency' principle to excuse permissiveness. I have made that mistake. Hopefully, we keep forging ahead, rise when we fall, and give ourselves great encouragement for even caring enough to try and try again.

    God Bless all our efforts!

  • Rob Logan, UT
    July 4, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    Sometimes they just can't take a cup. Some kids have to have things a certain way and they just can't do it differently. Logically to everyone else he may be ready for a cup but inside their brains just can't do it. You did the right thing giving him back the bottle. It is good you checked with so many people first.