Pulling a loose tooth became quite a traumatic deal when my grandson’s front tooth was hanging by a thread.
“It’s my tooth,” Glade wailed, as his Uncle Wade threatened to remove it. Glade has been hanging on to his loose tooth for weeks now. He’s certainly earned the name, Snaggle Tooth, as the tooth is just hanging there by a thread. But… he won’t give it up.
Wade had dropped by my house to visit, when, he spotted Old Snaggle Tooth. He tease Glade about hanging onto it for so long. “Here, let me help you… just one little jerk and it will be gone.” “No, No,” Glade replied, “It’s my tooth!”
As Wade left to get something from his car, he turned to Glade and said, “Well Glade, I’m going out to my car and if you haven’t pulled it out by the time I get back, I’m going to do it for you.”
Glade put his hand over his mouth, lowered his head and his eyes filled with tears. When Wade return, he noticed how up set Glade was. We both looked at each other and realized that this was a much more sensitive subject than we had supposed.
“No Glade, I’m not going to pull your tooth. It’s your tooth and you can decide when you want it to be gone. I’m sorry that I up set you… I was just teasing. ” Wade put his arm around his shoulder to reassured him. Glade brightened up and was off to play, in a flash.
This incident led us to a discussion about choice. When do parents or adult cross the line and make personal decisions for kids and when does a child choose for himself? I have pondered this question for several days. Even though I have written about this subject in my book, “5 Power Tips Moms Use For Raising Fantastic Kids,” the theme fascinates me and always has my attention. It’s a subject that has many twists and turns. (book available on-line soon)
For parents, helping children learn to make healthy decisions is a balancing act, which can be confusing at times.
I also had a lengthy discussion about it with, Sheila, my wise sister. We decided, for the hundredth time, it all comes down to control. There is good control and their is bad control. There is the matter of being self-determined or other-determined… which leads to being responsible or irresponsible. (These are are subjects for later commentary.)
For now… the bottom line is… it’s Glade’s tooth and he should decide when it will be pulled. It’s not dangerous, it’s not immoral nor rude. For what ever reason, this little boy wants his tooth, and he should have control over that decision.