Making life better in disadvantaged communities - our thoughts on everything - from Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc.
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I have a daughter with a disability and one of the hard things foor me is the peoplle who are supposed to be on our side but who work against me. She was doing so good and she just lost he r job for not coming in to work. I got mad and hollered at her about it. Her uncle told her in front of me that I was just not understanding and that money was not so important. He tried to tell me later that she has a disability and I shouldn't be so hard on her and I told him don't even talk to me. I don't know if anyone has any good ideas but thanks for having this forum and letting me complain here because I can't say anything to any of my relatives because they all talk to one another if you know what I mean. so I am just sitting here so mad . She doesn't need people making excuses for her and it doessn't make my life any easier to be always the mean one.
Do I EVER know what you mean! (No pun intended!) I am ALWAYS the 'evil' mother who makes my kids train harder at sports, study more, look for a job, look for a better job. I am constantly telling them, "You can do better" while other people it seems are undermining what I am trying to do by taking them aside and saying, "Oh, your mom doesn't understand you. She is so mean."
At least they don't generally have the nerve to do it in front of my face. You deserve extra points for not smacking that uncle or telling him off right then and there.
I don't know that I can offer good advice except that you need to keep doing what you know is right. You are your daughter's mom and she needs to be able to count on you, even when she doesn't appreciate you. I don't blame you for being mad. I would be, too. It is always easier to try to be the child's friend, to say, "Oh, that's okay, don't worry about it."
Growing, maturing and changing can be painful sometimes and anyone who cares about a child, disabled or not, needs to be willing to make the hard choices to push him or her towards that growth.
I read a story in an Adolescent Psychology textbook once, I think the title was 'Metamorphosis'. It was about a butterfly that was struggling to get out of its cocoon. One person watched it struggle and did nothing. When accused of being heartless by her neighbor she responded that was the nature of butterflies. The neighbor watched in shock while the poor butterfly strained and struggled to get its wings free, seemingly in pain.
Later, she saw another butterfly struggling and she gently removed the cocoon. What she didn't realize was that struggle was necessary to pump fluids into the wings. For the rest of its life, her butterfly hopped around on the ground with two stunted wings, long after the neighbors had flown away.
I actually don't know if this is true about the biology of butterflies but I think it is true about children.
People tend to think and feel that since our children our "special" they should recieve "special treatment." However, they like their peer do get into trouble and they do test their boundaries with their parents. Also, they know how to get what they want from whom they want (for instance her uncles, cousins, etc).
Ask them to support you in your efforts to teach your child to learn responsiblity. Tell them that someday she/he will be on their own one day because all of you will be gone. You want to feel secure in knowing that she/he will be able to live independently.
If you find that you can not find support from your family then seek support from your pastor, or a good friend. You can also see a good counselor to talk to. UND has the Family to Family Network. They will hook you up with another parent with a child with disabilities. It is alway nice to talk with someone who has been in your shoes.
First of all, I don't think that the reason you were upset was because "money is so important". It's more about responsibility and making sure that your child is able to care for herself. Like the previous mom stated, someday your child will be on her own. If you say that next time to her uncle, or anyone else who decides to make a comment about your parenting, I don't think anyone can argue with that statement. I remember as a young adult/teen, always thinking that my mom was against me and completely wrong about everything she told me. Now, I realize how many amazing things she did for me and how her wonderful parenting, as strict as it may have been, played a huge role in shaping me to be the person I am today. It is a good idea to get support from outside parties, sometimes family members can be biased with their opinions, something I am sure you have already realized. But don't feel guilty, you are doing the right thing. I wish you luck.
I have two comments regarding your situation. First, while there is nothing wrong with uncles and other relatives choosing to take a sympatric role toward your child they should not do it in front of you and her together. If a relative who disagrees with how you treat your children, he/she should let you know how his/her feeling when your child is not around. Second, it is always tough to be the “tough cop” with your children but it is our responsibility to be the tough cop when it is appropriate. I also think you need to consider her age when you give her guidance. I have a twenty-year old son who was in Special Education in High School due to his difficulty to process verbal instructions, an affliction that still effect him today. After he graduated, I would still get angry, when he “knowingly” did something I told him not to do. One day last year he came home with two of his friends, whom I courteously said hi to and then preceded to give my him a scolding for doing something he was not supposed to do. Later, when he and his friends were leaving I once again admonished my son while courteously saying good by to his friends. However, that particular experience left a bad taste in my mouth, if you know what I mean. After thinking about it off and on for a couple of days I realized what was bugging me; I was able to look at his friends, who were the same age as my son, and see them as young adults yet I looked at my son as if he was still a kid. Every since then, when I get upset with him, I remind myself that he is an adult and needs to be treated as such. By doing, so I found out I am able to express my feelings toward him in a more calm and deliberate manner. I hope this helps.
I hope this helps - I have been disabled for over 27 years. Living in a wheelchair. doing everything for myself and living by myself. I remember when my mother was alive some 10 years ago, she would demonstrate some of the same things you are saying. Basically, she was not making any excuses for me and would often get on my case when I was down or didn't feel like getting up for the day. My advice to you is to keep working with your child/young adult (encouraging, not discouraging). You may also want to take a Proactive approach, rather than Reactive approach, by supporting what the person wants for awhile to see how they do. So that they have something to compare to. Maybe, they need another evaluation or discussion to see what they really want to do.
I know my mother, if living today would still be on my case daily. As well as giving me positive encouragement when doing something well.