Teacher Professor

July 7, 2010

You Just Need To…

Filed under: ADHD,Autism,Bipolar,Tourette's Syndrome — Teacher Professor @ 12:56 am
  • Be more firm with him
  • Not put up with that
  • Make him clean it up
  • Ignore her when she does that
  • Reduce the sugar
  • Give him coffee
  • Stop relying on medication
  • Tell him to stop that

“Wow, you DO have a lot to deal with!”

Somehow, we’re in a pattern of other people- random people, people who love us, people who know our children- giving us advice where they know the answers because our answers aren’t somehow good enough or aren’t working well enough.  Or at least it feels that way.  I know that, for people who love us, such advice, solicited or not, comes from a place of shared frustration, a place where you have to try something else, because whatever “this” is now, isn’t working.  And for those who know us, it comes from a feeling of confidence- a place of “well, this works for our child when our child is acting out, so I suggest that you try it too”.

But I have to say- I’m getting really tired of it.

Yes, I know that my son is disorganized.  Yes, I know that my daughter is whiny.  Yes, I know that James and I are dysfunctional at times.  Yes, I know that our household is noisy and chaotic.  This is not news to me.  And yes, I know that I have to be firm, and make them clean up and help him replace behaviors and tell her to stop acting that way.  I know all of this.  I know that there is a fine line between spoiled and autism.  A fine line between poor parenting and Oppositional Defiance. A fine line between labels and excuses.

But I also know that we’re tired.  We’re tired of constantly battling- battling fear and anxiety and contrary behavior and overload.  We’re tired of always having to be “on top of our game”.  We’re tired of the stress when the other parent makes a choice we wouldn’t have and the fall out is extreme.  We’re tired of making sure that we’re on the same page at all times.  We’re tired of managing our children and not enjoying them.  We’re tired of dealing with our own anxieties, sensory overloads and sadness- the issues that our children inherited naturally.  We’re tired of finding our own coping strategies and losing the balance of our lives.  We’re tired of people who have had only one child, or no children, or three perfectly-behaved children make judgments about parenting two children with a variety of needs.  We’re tired of people sympathizing at the daily challenges we face, and then implying that it’s our own fault.

  • To those who love us- we’re doing our best
  • To those who know us- try walking in our shoes before you pass on your words of wisdom
  • And to those random people- I would like to tell you what you need to do…

But I am a good Southern woman, and I will simply say “Bless their hearts”.


  1. Hey guys, for what it’s worth, I was a brat as a child till 8th grade or so. In today’s world the child I was would be labeled something or another, and all kinds of experts would be offering advice to my parents. I’m glad I never knew what my label was or might have been. I do know that my mother got so frustrated at times that she threatened to send me to the “welfare home”! (There never was any such place). I ceased to be alarmed at such outbursts when it became apparent that she never followed up on the threat.

    When I was a senior in high school, I had an afternoon job as a secretary for a couple of education experts at the Fairfax County School Board, in Virginia. They were fun guys to work for, and I really enjoyed the job and the meager paycheck, and I got vocational credits in my senior year. I did learn one thing: educators are obsessed with analysis of kids’ behavior, and with labels, labels, labels. I had to chuckle, remembering my own earlier adventures in offensive or disobedient behavior, and even getting expelled from fifth grade for an incident that taught me a lesson about whispering “shut up” to my teacher from my desk at the back of the row in class. I was required to undergo a battery of tests, a medical exam, and two sessions with the school board psychologist before I was allowed back in school. Then I was one of the goof-offs that the rest of the kids in school made fun of.

    The label that my Fairfax County School Board job revealed as descriptive of my shenanigans was “The Creative Personality”. My artist/writer friends and I all got a good chuckle out of that. Such is life. Those revelations helped me to relax and take some things with a “grain of salt” when I became a parent. Billy grew up to be a productive adult in spite of my less than perfect parenting, too. Now in my “mature” years, my husband gets frustrated trying to figure out how to cope with the “creative personality” of this crazy artist.

    Claire Goldrick Hughes

    Comment by Claire Hughes — July 7, 2010 @ 9:20 am | Reply

  2. Your poor mother! 🙂 And sometimes we all need a heaping teaspoon of salt!

    Comment by profmother — July 7, 2010 @ 10:22 am | Reply

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