One of my friends shared this link on Facebook and I simply had to share it here: Am I Spoiling My Child or Accommodating Him?
The writer shares so much more eloquently than I could one of the hardest challenges of having a child with behavioral special needs. Even before David was ever diagnosed with Aspergers, I knew he was different. Well-meaning people gave tons of parenting advice and I am so thankful that I didn't follow most iof it and instead listened to my own parenting instincts. (Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things I would have done differently had I had more knowledge, but I did the best I could.) Even years after a diagnosis, there are still plenty of people who feel compelled to comment about various aspects of my parenting, and I admit, in my moments of self-doubt, I beat myself up and wonder what I could have done or what I could do now to make things better. I pray, take each day as it comes, and continue to try to do the best I can.
Now I have a daughter who is adopted, who by virtue of that fact, also needs to be parented differently. I have learned so much about the wounds that adopted children, even ones taken at birth, have within them, and I learned the lessons the hard way - by making tons of painful mistakes. And so, now, I try to accommodate, and once again, take a ton of criticism, even from my older children who don't understand why I parent her differently in some ways from how I parented them (Plus they are teenagers at the stage in which they know everything and Mom is apparently woefully ill equipped for life!) Once again, I wonder every day whether I am doing the right thing. Once again, I pray, tackle each day, and try to do my best.
I realize most people simply don't understand what it is like to have children who don't fit the traditional mold. I realize they are trying to be helpful. I realize that some of these people actually love both me and my children. If anything, this parenting journey I am on has taught me not to be judgmental of other parents. If I see a parent struggling, I pray for her and her children, because I do not know the story. And if anyone wants to pray for me, I'm always thankful.