A different lens

I quickly watched part of this video and something immediately caught my eye.

“It’s OK to say NO to doctors.”

Isn’t that powerful?

I learned this pretty early on when I permanently walked out the door of Sabrina’s first neurologist, who didn’t seem to believe that I should have a voice in my 1-year old daughter’s medical care.

Unfortunately, it took me a bit longer to learn it’s OK to say no to therapies and theories/beliefs that weren’t right for my daughter or for our family.  I cringe when I look back at the endless hours wasted trying to force Sabrina to do things that she didn’t want to do, that her body or brain wasn’t ready to do, instead of letting her be a kid.  I vividly recall what my internal reaction was when a friend of mine asking me if I didn’t think that perhaps Sabrina would get the same or more benefit from playing more with other kids.  Inside I screamed “of course not- she needs intensive therapy and then more intensive therapy! Playing with other kids isn’t going to help her!”

Oh, how I wish I would just have let her play more with other kids.

My decisions back then came from a place of fear:

What if she doesn’t “get better”?  What if this is the magical therapy that is going to help her?

I can’t get those hours back and there’s no point in having regrets.  All you can do is learn and move on.  I now look through a different lens every time I consider something for her.

I now look through a different lens every time I consider something for her:

Is this something that she’s going to have fun doing?

Is this something that will help her be a part of the community?

Is this something that is going to work for our family as a whole?

If the activity involves working on a skill, is it a skill she’s showing interest in learning?

Is this something that we truly want and need, or is it just an attractive option because it’s available to us?

Looking at it through this lens means we often say NO to things that have helped other children progress, and I am not going to lie and tell you that isn’t sometimes very difficult to do.  Believe me, the constant nagging feelings are always there.  Am I holding her back from learning because I am not bringing ABA into our home? Because I don’t push the reading more? Because she’s not involved in more activities?

In order for me to be at peace, I have to constantly remind myself of what our big picture vision is for Sabrina and try hard to block out everything else.

“The things which are most important don’t always scream the loudest.” –Bob Hawke

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Shannon

    Completely agree! I’ve ditched many things over the years and said no to ABA from the get go. There’s so much more out there and every kid is so different. You have to find what works for you and your family. I also agree that reminded ourselves of the big picture is so important!

  2. Mary Komperda

    I think all parents in our shoes struggle with this! There is always the question “did I do enough?” “what if….” . It is why supporting each other is so important. No judgement, just support. I feel, many parents in our shoes, are more tolerant of others and less judgmental when it comes to parenting. (at least I hope we all learned that lesson).
    When we try to treat our kids from our own anxieties, it doesn’t work. We can let go of those what ifs and be present in the moment and enjoy what we have. (my belief is also, God has my back, and that is helpful for me ;).

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