Advice

Now and then I find myself frustrated and disappointed.  I’ve told you before that sometimes it’s just easier to stay at home when you have children with disabilities.  It’s easier to stay at home than to venture out with folks who just don’t get it.  There are well-intentioned folks who don’t have a clue and say things that are hurtful.

I recently stumbled across an awesome blog post that speaks to this issue.  This particular letter is intended for grandparents, but I would like to post it here and suggest that it’s more general than that.  I think it’s a letter for all family members, all friends, all church acquaintances — everyone who knows a parent of a child with disabilities.  And this particular letter speaks of children with a specific psych disorder.  Again, I would like to suggest that you read it in a more general way than that.  I am posting it here for people who know a parent of a child with any psych disability.  For anyone who knows a parent of a child with any disability.

The letter is a reminder that unless you live with the child, you have no idea what life is like.  You have no idea of the struggles.  You have no idea of what issues are currently a challenge.  And you may not have any idea what it’s like to let some things slide so that you can concentrate on some bigger issues.  Ever heard the term “choosing your battles?”  I assure you that parents of children with disabilities know the term and know it well.

The letter is a reminder for us to keep our mouths shut whether we agree with what we see or not.  The letter is a reminder for us to not grumble even if we are affected by a child’s behavior or choices.  Instead, we can choose to support the parent in their struggle.

I think the letter is powerful.  I certainly know folks in whose faces I’d love to shove this letter.  We all know folks who have said too much at times.

But I’m also sure I’ve over-spoken to friends before.  It’s a reminder to me to keep my mouth shut and instead to pray for my struggling friends.

Read the letter here.  Consider how it may help you support a parent you may know.

And let me know what you think.  😉

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Angel on June 15, 2011 at 6:33 AM

    Wow, that was a powerful letter. I don’t deal with the intensity of your issues, but I remember a time when my mom and I didn’t talk for 6 months because she was convinced she had all the answers to Lucas’ eating disorder and panic attacks. Praise God she wised up and supports me now even helping to pay for some therapy. I realized how I need to be supportive of others just as much and MORE. Shut up and pray was wonderful advice. For any time I didn’t do that-I apologize. Love you Kelly.

    Reply

    • I figured you would be able to relate, Angel. I’m so glad your mom changed her approach with you. Otherwise, it’s a quick way to ruin relationships. I love it when folks are willing to listen to wisdom and reason and change their ways — out of LOVE for their child and their grandchild!! (or their friend, or whoever) I know it’s hard to remain silent when you’re sure you know the answer and you’re sure you know what’s right. And sometimes those “suggestions” are meant in the kindest of ways. But I felt this letter was great advice coming from a real grandma right in the thick of it! Love you back, friend! 🙂

      Reply

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