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Emotional Effects of Premature Birth
mimid77 posted:
I have a 5 year old son who was born at 26 weeks gestation. We've been very blessed, and his only known issue is a moderate hearing loss and speech delay. For this reason, he has been attending preschool since he was 3 years old. It was determined that he wasn't ready for kindergarten this year since his conversation skills are still delayed, so he is again attending a preschool program. He seems very frustrated and angry alot since starting back to school, and I have noticed a "step-up" in the responsibility given him at school and the consequences if he doesn't adhere. My concern is that because of his prematurity, he is emotionally delayed as well (he seems to be on about the same level as my 3 year old daughter) and I sometimes resent the fact that his teacher expects him to behave the same as her other 5 year old students. Am I babying him too much, or do I have a legitimate concern? Anyone with experience in this area is welcome to advise!! Thanks so much.
Amelia_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi mimid77,

You sound like a wonderful and loving mother. Have you spoken with your son's teachers about his prematurity? They might be able to work with him in more of a comfortable manner for him, with the respect that he might be catching up with the other children.

My daughter was also a preemie and has always been a little slower physically than her friends. I still question the fact that I might have held her to much as a baby and now she is overly cautious and afraid to do some of the physical activities that her peers are doing. Recently, I have put more efforts forth to push her to find her independence and learn how to get through some of her weaker skills. At first, she was upset with me for this tough love, but now she is so proud of accomplishing the things that we both thought were her everlasting weaknesses.

Being a parent is definitely not easy, but we just have to do what feels best in our soul and learn everyday from each experience. I am sure that you are doing an amazing job and he will catch up at the pace that you both find is best for him.

I wish your family the best of health and happiness! :-D
Best Wishes! Amelia

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