Welcome to my Blog. A place that encourages Zen with a little mix of Fiesty!

Insight or Flight; Open for discussion Part I

Are we ever really ok with criticism? Is our mind ever ok with critique? Are we truly ever open to hear what someone else may have or want to say?

Now let's say we are? Does it change when we become parents and our children are the subject matter?

Under the suggestion of my dearest friend, and he is my dearest friend because he has no restraints. He is a straight shooter, he is smart, he makes you stop and question your actions and he is fairly new to parenting; I am embarking on a two (2) part post dedicated to just how open if ever we are to hear others comment on our children.

I want to touch on parents who do their children a disservice by being closed off to or defensive when receiving advise from other parents (as he so worded it) .

Then I want to turn the table and touch on how parents should approach the subject of giving advise and sharing ideas with other parents. He used the words astute and tactful so I will do my best to see if we can achieve that goal.

The main idea is that someone may be aware of or have insight to something we may be missing when it comes to our children and it would be a shame if we were not open to hearing this information and allowing it to serve a purpose.

So here goes...
I will start with the experiences I have come across when it has come to being closed off.

I had a girlfriend since 9th grade in H.S. so that was a very long time. She has three children, her second child, a son was a handful to put it nicely. He never sat still, played nice, was focused or respectful. He got distracted easily and thought that he was the blue Power Ranger or one of the Ninja Turtles. It was always a challenge to baby sit him or to plan activities where too may kids would be involved.
Early on I recall people always suggesting to her that he should be tested for ADD or ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I would also have talks with her and all she would say is "no way" and "I am not putting my kid on drugs".

He was the middle child so she always blamed any outbursts or issues to that fact and how people ignored him for one reason or another. She would say that she just had to do a better job of managing her time with her kids and that all would be fine. That he would out grow it and that he just needed more activities to help with all his energy.

This went on for several more years by now he was in middle school. Doing poorly in his classes, having communication and connecting issues with his siblings and outsiders and becoming more and more aggressive in his means of expression. She would be called to school often and her home life was very unhappy.

For some time I kept trying to be supportive or research with her or for her any and all options available but at some point I just took a step back and said that he was not my child and she would have to figure this out on her own. I valued our friendship and I didn't want to have our connections always revolve around his behavior or end on negative words.

Finally it wasn't until his H.S. years that she accepted something had to change and be done. They had him tested, medications were prescribed but the change was a blessing. His medication wasn't so that it caused him to be a "zombie" as she feared. The opposite actually happened! His grades improved, he joined his school's Football Team and his social skills and life improved greatly. He was actually fun to be around at this point.
He graduated with decent grades, the family unit was much better than in the past, he excelled in sports and had a steady girlfriend.
He is twenty-one (21) years old now.

Too bad it took his mother over thirteen (13) years to figure that she just couldn't do it alone. Who knows how much better a quality of life the whole family would have had if only she had just been open slightly to critique and suggestions. I know it would have saved me many a running around in the parks and streets after him. Not to mention all the hiding places we had to come up with to keep objects that could have been used as weapons away from him.
Better late than never guess is how we should look at it.

Then I have the friend that any words suggesting you are questioning the parenting skills, knowledge or experience causes a complete shut down in communication to the point the conversation has to stop.
It is such an uncomfortable experience I have decided to listen more than I speak and really pick my words carefully before I let them out of my mouth.

Why are these reactions so strong? Are we (as the parents) the only ones who really know what is best for our children? Is there no room for assistance?

Let's start a conversation. Please share your journey on this road and let me know what you think.

Soy Dominicana, I am Dominican

Teenager's room, the Risk you take...