Dear Mom, I know it feels like there are a thousand different ‘solutions’ to the struggles your child is facing. I know there are countless books and articles, magazines and posts about what you can do to help and to ‘fix.’ I know, sometimes, it feels like there are so many things wrong. But your child doesn’t need ‘fixing.’
Your child was made exactly as who he or she is.
There is nothing ‘wrong;’ there are only solutions.
When I first stepped into Austin’s life, I was inundated with messages about what I could do, what Austin’s father and I could do—to make things ‘better.’ Professionals told us to see experts and experiment with medications for attention and focus. Teachers said that we should find alternative options for education. Friends recommended therapy and outside resources.
There were so many people with so many different ideas and advice. And although (most of) it was well-meaning, I couldn’t help but feel like they were telling us all the things that were ‘wrong.’
It’s taken me a while to really learn who Austin is (and who I am as a mother figure and powerful advocate in his life) and what he needs. It’s taken me a while to sift through the recommendations to see the truth—there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with Austin. There are only solutions to help him grow and learn.
And the same is for you.
Dear Mom, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with your child. Your child doesn’t need ‘fixing.’ He or she simply needs different methods, different support systems, different processes, and patience.
Every child is different.
This seems obvious, but at the core, it’s an important thought to keep in mind. Perhaps the child that sits next to yours in class excels in math. Perhaps he or she is a better reader, faster runner, or more observant. That doesn’t mean your child is lacking; it simply means that your child has strengths and weaknesses of his or her own.
Different doesn’t mean less.
Every single person has something he or she struggles with.
We all have something that makes us imperfect, something that holds us back, or something that has influenced the way we see and interact with the world. When it comes to your child and the bigger picture of what he or she needs, keep that truth in mind. No one has it all figured out.
Struggles, problems, disabilities, and challenges do not define us.
What holds us back does not define us. This is, perhaps, one of the most difficult lessons to learn, especially your child has been held back by something physically, mentally, socially, etc. But you have to recognize that your child is a person first. His or her challenges or impairments are not a definition.
You can’t fix what’s been created with intention and purpose.
Each and every one of us has been created for a reason. Sometimes it’s hard to see that reason, especially when we’re young. Sometimes life takes us on unexpected roads and turns that make it hard to see what’s really important or what we should focus on.
But know this: your child doesn’t need fixing – your child needs love, support, and someone to fight battles with.
Featured Image Credit: Sharon McCutcheon