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Thursday, September 29, 2011

What not to say

I had coffee earlier this afternoon with some of the women (I hate the word "ladies") from my Bible study.  They all have children with some disability or other and we got to talking about what people should not say to a parent of a child with a disability.  Number one on my list was, "I just feel so sorry for you."  No one wants pity and no one wants to be in a position that causes other people to pity them.  Instead, be open to talking to that parent.  I'm fully open to having a discussion with you about my child.  And once you talk to me, you'll see that there is no reason to feel sorry for me.  I love Cooper just the way he is.  Yes, he is challenging.  No, he may never be like other children.  But he's mine, he's what I was given, and that's ok.

And parents with "normal" children, encourage your kids to do the same.  Let your child talk to a child with a disability.  Or, if that isn't possible, let them talk to the parent.  The only way the next generation won't feel sorry for moms with kids like mine is exposing them to kids like Cooper.  Just a generation or two ago, children with disabilities were put in homes and not talked about.  We've come so far as a society.  Let's keep it up.

And really, what is a normal child?  Every child and every parent has issues that have to be dealt with.  No one is perfect.  No child or family is perfect.  I don't feel sorry for you, so please don't feel sorry for me.  If that sounds mean, I'm sorry.  I'm just trying to put things into perspective.

Does this like a kid you should feel sorry for??


The Bells said...

Nope! Looks like a precious little boy that I love bunches! Miss him! (and you)

Kara Givens Paulk said...

Love this Crady! I think it is so hard to know what to say in some situations because you want to convey sympathy and admiration for the strengh shown in the face of difficulty,but you don't want to belittle the child or the parent or make light of a situation that is hard. I love what you said about "normal" because I do believe there is no such thing! Sometimes, people seem to have it all but when you get to know them on a deeper level, you realize they are just barely juggling all the balls in the air!

I think Cooper is looking like such a big little boy:)

Lauren said...

Great post! I have 6 children with disabilities in my last class period of the day and it is SOOOOO beautiful to watch the kids mingle together and put on plays! The kids are so encouraging and loving of each other! God is great!

And Cooper is SUCH a cutie!!! Love him!

Anne Schneider said...

Nope, no pity necessary or deserved for Cooper or his family...we've got the greatest great-nephew...such a blessing for us all!