So … this blog and our video(s) are part of a larger project, which will also include a book, a movie, a TV show, numerous TED talks and world domination. 🙂
As part of this, we’re interviewing moms, dads, brothers, sisters, teachers, etc. … and the “kids with issues” themselves (of all ages – the ones who are still young and the ones who are now grown up).
Oh, and for the record – everybody has “issues.” It’s kind of a human thing. But we are talking about issues that make it a superhuman effort to funnel our kids through a system that doesn’t work for them …. issues that set them apart negatively from their peers and make so many aspects of life almost overwhelmingly challenging for them … and for us as parents.
Everything about our interviews is anonymous, by the way. Everybody gets to pick their own “Starbucks name” for if and when we quote them! (We might be “Bitsy” and “Carmella” ….)
We had our first interview yesterday with another “survivor.” Interestingly enough, we had printed out our questions on a sheet, but the mom in question didn’t want to do the worksheet …… Hmmmmmmmm ….. 🙂
But it was such a great conversation. We were all laughing, and we were all crying.
All three of us remarked how sitting in a typical school setting was impossible for our kids, but, now our kids are in college … and it works! Well ….. we’re not going to lie …… they are all doing it in their own atypical style …. but (and this is Martha talking), being the mother whose son was told by the high school guidance counselor he would never go to college, this feels very sweet indeed! (Not that college is the be-all, end-all goal … it’s not, at all, and in fact, it may never be right for some kids … who will still go on to be wonderful, happy, successful people without it! In fact, that is the subject of a future blog post … so stay tuned on that one …)
What really kept coming up is the isolation we all experienced, and how dependent we were on certain friends … and how certain others we couldn’t be open with, because they just didn’t get it … or because it just didn’t feel safe. We felt we would be judged, and our kids would be judged, too.
There is so much trying to protect our kids. People lock in on negative things or negative qualities, so you’re afraid to share anything about that because you feel people will bind your kid to those negative things like a chain.
Part of our goal – in our own, un-PC way – is to open the conversation. We should be free to talk about these things in a way to help our children and support them. And we need to support ourselves, and others ….
So out of our list of questions, here are some of the most important ones of all:
What did you do right?
How have you advocated for and supported your child?
What has been the most helpful support for you? What would you tell someone else in your shoes? (or should we say … in your “issues!”)
And here is a personal favorite – How have your child’s issues also been a benefit to him/her, either as a child, or later as a young adult?
If you would like to participate and be interviewed, contact us at marthaandruth at gmail dot com. And start picking out your Starbucks name now! You can start here …