Sunday, August 13, 2006

Don't assume ... don't assume ... don't assume!

I'm not writing anything today that I didn't need to hear myself about a decade ago. We all make assumptions. Because I am in Mommy Mode, I tend to think that people are the worst at assuming things about children.

It starts early. "Is she a good baby?" Seriously? What kind of question is that? What do you say to that? "No. I'm sorry to say, but we seem to have gotten a bad one."

It also makes me sad to see children labeled as "bad kids." If someone had come around the corner at church today and seen my oldest daughter throw her teddy bear at her Daddy and yell, "I hate you!" ... I guarantee you that we would have either had some older gentleman offering us his belt or received looks of disgust by the parents who have their children "under control."

Now, the sad part is that everyone that knows my daughter, and understands how her TS has escalated, knows that this is the complete opposite of her nature. She cries terribly after her outbursts of anger. She cries in desperation, praying that the doctor will know what to do to help her. She looks at me through red eyes and says, "Mommy, I feel like a monster."

Yup. Our life is pretty sucky right now.

Ten years ago I thought I knew everything there was to know about parenting ... because I WASN'T one yet! I guess I just wanted you all to learn from my mistakes today. Don't assume.

Don't assume that a parent is too passive or too harsh. Don't assume that a kid is just a "bad kid." Don't assume that a parent isn't letting their child grow up just because they are not leaving them in the nursery ... or a parent is with them in class.

I've assumed a lot in the past, and I've also had to eat my own big, fat helping of crow! You should just meet people. Love them. Listen to them. They might open up and let you under the surface, to see the core of the issue. If they need your help or your advice, then they'll feel safe enough to ask. Then again, they may never let you in.

But whatever you do, don't assume that you have them all figured out.

You probably don't.


FAScinated said...

Christine, you are so right. I'm sorry things are difficult for your daughter right now and I am praying that it gets better soon. ~Kari

Mary Beth said...

Amen, sister!

Gayle said...

Take your arms wrap them around your body, sqeeze real tight! repeat, repeat, repeat! There, a bunch of hugs from all that love and care about you and your family! Love ya and always here for you!!!! Thank you for being REAL!

Christy said...

I can't begin to tell you how many negative comments I have had because of my son's behavior. He has a mild form of autism. He looks "normal" and can carry on a conversation and enjoys people, but he has some behavior issues because of the disorder. He just doesn't "get" a lot of social norms. I just want people to stop assuming too. After raising this wonderful boy for the last 7 years, I no longer judge people when I see a kid out of control. I just don't. You never know what's going on with that child or that family. Just don't assume.

paj said...

Spoken like a true momma ! Sadly, people will assume...they will always assume! Remember that your source of strength to over come is ready to be tapped at a moment's notice. God will see you through everytime.
I had my first child at 15. Noone ever asked about the circumstances surrounding this pregnancy, they just all assumed the worst about me from about 15- the time I finally stopped caring what they thought. God is good though, because now he's my big giant 6'3" bodyguard, with a heart bigger than his size and he LOVES our Lord! And I'm a real hip young momma! ~PAJ

Joyce said...

Okay, now I'm just stalking you... mwah, ha, haaaaaah!!!!
Totally agree about people knowing how to parent when they don't have any kids...