The kind of love that changes things

By Tessa Joseph

mother-2605132_1280My adopted son is 4 years old. We know he has challenges, but we don’t yet have a diagnosis. I’m learning to look beyond his difficulties to see the unique, talented little boy that he really is. And I’m realizing the power that comes from believing in him and loving him exactly the way he is….

Read the rest of this blog on ADDitude

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The days your best parenting doesn’t seem to be enough

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I have many friends with kids who are reaching their developmental milestones on time, give or take a month or two.

I’m talking about good parents who nurture their children, and who are considered and wise in their child-raising strategies.

Many of my friends are passionate about parenting, and, with the best will in the world, want to share their experiences with other struggling parents.

By and large I enjoy these parent-to-parent conversations and the sense of support and camaraderie they bring.

But every so often, when I’ve had one of those not-so-successful mornings of physically wrestling my son into his clothes, running round the house after him as he seeks to throw every object he can find, and rescuing my two year old from his not-so-affectionate grip, I would rather walk on hot coals that converse with the mother of a normally developing child.

There are times when the best-intentioned parenting advice in the world makes me want to scream: “Your child didn’t spend 9 months trapped in a high-risk pregnancy that was probably hell on earth. He didn’t face the trauma of early separation. Twice. He doesn’t have a random set of neurological symptoms that no one fully understands, least of all himself.”

Most of us parents of kids with special needs are not lacking in parenting wisdom. We’re just often lacking confidence in our own abilities because we’ve taken more knockings than a lot of other parents.

Sometimes what we really need is not some new, revelatory advice that either trivializes what we’re going through or makes us feeling guilty because we can’t put it into action in our crazy lives where we’re just holding on by our fingernails.

Sometimes the best thing someone else can say is: “I know it’s tough. You’re doing a great job! Just hang on in there!”

Sometimes something as simple as that is enough to bring encouragement and hope. And the perspective to see one bad day for what it really is. Just a bad day. Tomorrow may well be surprisingly good.

Picking up the story

I’m excited to write my very first blog!

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Like most good stories, I have no idea where this one is going to lead. There are a few shapes and ideas in my mind but I’m waiting for it to take form and open up in interesting and unexpected directions!

The theme of this blog is stories. That much I know. This is going to be a place for sharing stories – real stories about real life, fictional stories that open up new and colourful worlds, the stories that we all enact every day as we climb metaphorical mountains and slay the dragons in our normal lives.

When life gets tough, it’s easy to get lost in a world of facts. Lists. Plans. Responsibilities. But it’s the stories that save us. That allow us to step back and see things creatively. That help us to appreciate the heroes and heroines we are and to see the happy ending lurking just beyond the horizon.

Thank you for joining me. Let the story begin…