Sunday, January 3, 2010
Messing With Perfection
The question that's been bothering me is this; are we doing it for our kids, or are we doing it out of selfishness?
We aim, through schools and services (if we're lucky enough to have any) to teach our kids social skills as well as academics.
But by teaching social skills, are we only trying to lessen our own discomfort..(oh what the hell, let's call it what it is embarrassment) by forcing them to sit quietly in places they feels threatened in, to pee in places that cause them distress or to keep their intensely uncomfortable clothes on in public places.
Is it because we want our child to "fit in" and therefore have a happier existence, or is it to ultimately make life easier for us?
Bob is quite happy to watch the same episode of Dora over and over (and over), and in't embarrassed when he poos in his pants. He isn't concerned about being perhaps perceived as rude when he doesn't engage in small talk, and has no qualms about leaving a party when he's had enough.
Sometimes I am ashamed of the arrogance with which we forcibly drag our kids from their happy world...who do we think we are to tell anyone that their way of life is not valid?
It really bothers me.
I haven't worked out an answer for myself yet.
What motivates me mostly to keep working with Bob (even when he really doesn't want to) is that I know he is a very clever little boy and his sensory and communication problems could prevent him from achieving his full potential. I know in my heart that this is for his benefit...that already he is much happier as he is (and will be) rather than the alternative (without intervention, I picture him silent, self-injuring and deeply unhappy).
What also keeps me on the rocky road is the fact that one day Bob's Dad and I won't be around to interpret for him, or explain that when he says his jumper is "crying" that it's wet and he wants to change it. Much as I hope Toads no.1 and 2 will be involved in his life, I don't expect them to be responsible for him. Bottom line, Bob needs to learn as much skills as he can to help him cope with life, hopefully as independently as possible.
I am very uncomfortable with trying to change him, though, no matter how much I justify it.
I guess because I love him unconditionally as he is, it doesn't sit right that I'm also saying an upgraded model would be more acceptable.
OK...so me and my discomfort are going to potter off and make some tea (I've single handedly kept Lyons afloat throughout the recession). Any of your thoughts on this would be most welcome.
Posted by Jean at 12:25 PM