It's Almost Naptime!: How to help a friend who...has a child with a ment...: From the How to Help a Friend Who... series. http://amdunlevy.blogspot.com I spoke at a retreat in November on the topic of sufferi...
A few highlighted areas in this post that ring true to my heart. It's the hardest thing for people to say they just don't "see it." It burns straight to the heart as if I'm full of it. I don't want sympathy but rather understanding. I know it's hard to understand. Trust me! But these things only make it worse. I used to be a person that thought that maybe they needed and better spanking or it was the parents fault. We need to pray for families with children with disabilities! They are hurting, tired, frustrated, and need your friendship and prayers more than anything at all!
- Acknowledge the issue. While I wouldn't want anyone to make more of it than it is, it makes me feel like people think I'm crazy when they discount what I tell them. Some have told me that she'll probably outgrow it--it's a phase. Or that she's perfect when she's with them. Or that she doesn't seem like she's "having trouble". (At this point, I bite my tongue instead of telling them that she seems fine because SHE'S ON SOME POWERFUL PSYCHIATRIC MEDS!)
- Play with me. Moms like me live a stressful, worried, what-if-filled life. Will she have to take these meds forever? Will we find a nutritional answer? How will we pay to find the answer? Will she be able to sustain relationships, have babies, take care of herself? Will my other children develop these "issues"? Like most people going through a hard time, we need to forget about worrying for a minute. We need to laugh and play.
- Don't judge me. Right is right, and wrong is wrong; I'm not talking about not acknowledging that. I mean that people don't always know everything that's going on. When I was a classroom teacher, I was a good one, great at keeping control in the classroom. If I saw a child misbehaving at school or anywhere else, I always thought that I could fix it. My child would never behave that way. But now? Now I realize that sometimes kids misbehave because of slacker parenting or poor discipline techniques, but sometimes there is a deeper issue. I cringe at how arrogant I used to be about parenting.