Advice needed...repost from General Nursing board

  1. Hello. You are correct, this mom is dependent upon you and she is not feeling very confident in her ability to make wise and healthy decisions for her child. You can't help but to wonder why. Understanding what underlies this dependency is the only way to permanently eliminate it. A good and time saving place to start is to make an educated guess and then evaluate the results.

    More than 20 years in nursing has taught me that lack of knowledge is a huge source of anxiety for patients and their families. You have already id'd knowledge as at least part of the problem in this situation. Does your practice have a newsletter? Do you have or provide normal growth and development literature to families as a matter of routine? Are there any support groups for "first time parents" in your community? Can you recommend any Play Groups for toddlers? These are great sounding boards for nervous parents.
    Think about creating a list of resources for parents...including a variety of sources and styles. Everything from audio tapes to humorous books to reasonably techinical text could be included.

    This mom is clearly interested in doing what is best for her child. She clearly views you as a knowledgeable, trustworthy resource in her child's health. Be careful not to betray her trust as you help her to gain her independence! You are obviously representing pediatric nurses, and yourself well! Congratulations and THANK YOU!!
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    About Ben Thair RN

    Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 11


  3. by   laurasc
    I posted this in the General nursing board but figured I would post it here too. I am in need of some real good advice.

    I work in a pediatrician's office and am not sure how to handle one of the moms. Her daughter is about 2 years old, very healthy and I've known her since birth. Mom was very nervous at first so I made myself available to answer whatever questions she may have had. But after a while I worried that she had become too dependant on me. She would call me for every little thing, often for things that if she used a little common sense, she could figure out. So I sort of boosted her self confidence by encouraging her to use her own instincts and judgment when it came to her daughter and then I praised her when she did just that. It seemed to work because she stopped calling for about a year...and the baby was doing great.
    Well, over the last few months it's all started up again. It started with her calling me one day a few months ago asking me if she could let her daughter go outside to play. The child was over a year and a half at the time and yeah, although it was cold out, it wasn't THAT cold. (I know this sounds unprofessional, but it was all I could do to keep from laughing) And the calls like that continue. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind fielding her calls, when there's a genuine concern, but I'm beginning to feel that she's latching on to me again.

    I usually encourage parents to feel free to call me if they have a question, especially first time parents with infants and parents of premies or sick kids. I tell them that I don't believe in stupid questions and would rather they call me than be unsure. But now I'm wondering if this is a good thing. The majority of parents are really great about it...but I think I may have inadvertently created a monster with this one mum.

    Now the question is, how do I UNcreate it??


  4. by   laurasc
    Thank you very much! You've given me some very good ideas, not just to help this mom but to help other parents as well. There are resources available in the community, but it's not always easy to least not for the average parent. But I have the doctor's name to use (and he's well know in the community) so I should get a lot of feedback. A newsletter is a great idea. I'll have to bounce that off my boss and see what he says.

    I think that in mom's case it's a real lack of self-confidence. She was doing well for a while but now that her baby is entering a new developmental stage, she's back to being unsure. Like you said, I don't want to betray her trust, that's what I'm most afraid of. I think I'm going to hand her a few good resources and encourage her to think for herself again and in the process, hopefully boost her confidence as a mom. Because overall she's a good mom, her daughter is doing very well, is well behaved and is simply too cute for her own good.

    Thanks again!