web analytics
October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Mother in the Shoe…


Until You’ve Walked A Mile in My Shoes…

As parents of special children we’ve all been the recipient of some “interesting” remarks from others whether relatives, friends, acquaintances and even total strangers. It can occur at any moment – as you wait at the shoe store, the local pizza shop, the doctor’s office, shul and anywhere else you can think of. I like to divide them into the following categories:

 

The “Well Meaning”

This category of comments and questions are asked or said by someone who may genuinely mean well for you and your child but somehow many parents are left offended inadvertently or may feel uncomfortable. Some examples of well meaning comments include:

You must be such a special person to have a child like this- I could never do what you are doing…”

Hashem only gives us what we can handle.” (Said by someone who only has healthy children)

You must be such a strong person.” (Said by someone who only has healthy children)

Your child lives at home with you – I give you credit, I could never do that.”

Call me if there is anything I can do to help.” (There is nothing wrong with saying this, but bear in mind, however, that the parent will probably never call you because no one likes to ask for help.)

The people who make the above comments certainly mean you no harm and think they are comforting you. When one says “I could never do that but you can because you are ‘special,’ ‘strong,’ ‘super human,’” etc., what they are really saying is, “You are strong and you can handle it so you have this special child but I am a mere mortal – weak and average and that is why I have ‘healthy,’ ‘normal’ children.” The truth is parents of special children are not angels, we pray that our children are healthy – I don’t think anyone wishes to give birth to a child with a disability. Yes, we have grown and learned so much from our special children. Our special children have taught us to take the time to stop and smell the roses, the power of patience and perseverance and the strength that it gives us. As parents of special children, we realize that every aspect of human development is a truly a nes (miracle) and we are privy to seeing so many miracles with each ounce of progress our special children make.

 

The “Mean”

This category is the opposite of the above. The people who fall into this category have serious issues with bein adam l’chavero, are usually self centered and may be unhappy in their own lives and are inflicting their misery on “lucky” you. There is just nothing constructive about these comments. The following are some examples of hurtful remarks made to parents of special children:

How could you bring this child home from the hospital?” (The best response I ever heard to this was, “The hospital has a no return, no exchange policy.”)

How will you ever find shidduchim for your other children now that you have this child?” (How will you?)

Maybe you didn’t daven hard enough or eat right during pregnancy.” (In an attempt to blame the child’s condition on the parent’s actions, this person feels that they who daven a lot or are cautious with their diet are now “safe” and will not have a child with special needs.)

What is your child’s life expectancy?” (I don’t know, what’s yours?)

Didn’t you and your husband go to get tested at Dor Yeshurim before you got married?” (They went to Dor Yeshurim and so they feel safe that this could not happen to them even though Dor Yeshurim cannot test for many disabilities especially the ones that are not genetic.)

A young woman walking with several young children in a stroller covers her kids’ eyes and said to the mother of a special child: “How dare you expose my children to your child!” (How dare you expose my child to your horrible middos…?)

A worker in a store said to a mother about to buy a nice suit for her teenage son who has Down syndrome: “Why are you wasting such a nice suit on him?” (The mother that this happened to responded, too bad you just lost a sale, I’m going to the store across the street.)

Said by an administrator at a local special needs agency when a parent asked for camp funding for her child through Medicaid Waiver: “Parents of low functioning children are greedy and entitlement oriented.” (Apparently some administrators of Medicaid waiver programs are lazy and out of touch with the needs of the families they serve.)

 

The Meaningless:

These comments are not usually meant to hurt others. Most of these are born more out of ignorance than malice; unfortunately they can hurt as deeply as some of the mean comments.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Mother in the Shoe…”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Abbas and the Temple Mount: "It's mine, all mine. No Jews allowed.
Abbas Declares Closure of Al Aqsa Mosque a ‘Declaration of War’
Latest Sections Stories
Part of the reconstructed Gwozdziec Synagogue.

The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews is designed to tell the whole thousand-year story of the Jews in Poland.

Nimchinsky-102414-Flag

This past summer was a powerful one for the Jewish people. I will always remember where I was on June 12th when I found out that Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnapped. I will always remember the look on my sister’s face on June 30th when she told me that they were found. I will […]

Schonfeld-logo1

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

The Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

My eyes skimmed an article on page 1A. I was flabbergasted. I read the title again. Could it be? It had good news for the Miami Jewish community.

Students in early childhood, elementary, and middle school were treated to an array of hands-on projects to create sukkah decorations such as wind chimes, velvet posters, sand art, paper chains, and more.

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
New Jersey, New York, and Illinois have implemented policies of quarantining suspected Ebola victims.

The new case of a 5-year-old makes it more difficult to fight NY and NJ quarantine policies.

Israeli Navy ships opened fire on a boat from Gaza that was trying to break the maritime embargo.

Hamas is still in the mode of “give us a finger and we will take the whole hand.”

The Rabbinical Council of America said that since the arrest last week of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Washington, DC, it has been working assiduously to address the many challenges that its members and their communities now face.

The exhibition includes the largest gold medallion with Judaic symbols known in existence.

The soft-glove approach to campus anti-Zionists is more like a pat on the back.

PM Netanyahu has sent out his Rosh HaShana greeting to Jews around the world.

Turkey is not going to be signing any deals for Israeli natural gas exports any time soon, says Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz.

Netanyahu said that since the Jordanians opposed the bridge, “Of course we agreed.” Of course.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/mother-in-the-shoe%e2%80%a6/2010/06/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: