Why is it, some people seem to think they know your child better than you do? They go out of their way to come and introduce themselves, then proceed to tell you, in a round about way, that you should have raised them right! Let me share a conversation that happened recently- names have been changed…
Before I begin, the child in this article is a teenager, who is nineteen years old. He got himself into trouble with the law during the summer. His mother bonded him out of jail and within a five week span, he was re-arrested because he did something else that was just as stupid as what landed him in jail to begin with.
Stranger: “I’m Mrs. Jones- I’m a substitute teacher and I teach writing. You must be Jacob’s mom- he looks so much like you.”
Mother: “Yes, I guess you can tell he’s my son- can I help you?”
Stranger: “I just wanted to stop and let you know, I went to see him at the jail. I don’t know for sure what kind of trouble he’s in, he wouldn’t tell me, but it seems to me, if he had been taught in a different way, he might not be in the trouble he’s in- he doesn’t seem to know the difference between right and wrong.”
Mother: “Excuse me?”
Stranger: “Oh- I didn’t mean to imply that you haven’t tried to teach him– he’s what eighteen or nineteen now? He seems to have the mind of a twelve year old because he just seems so immature. I’ve known Jacob for awhile and have watched him grow. However, he should be all grown up in his thinking and not getting into trouble with the law.”
Mother: “How is it, you know my son?”
Stranger: “Oh, he use to be friends with my son, Tommy. I also helped him with his school work some last year at the high school.”
Mother: “Well, if you know my son like you say you do, do you know that he is ADHD and Bipolar?”
Stranger: “No, I wasn’t aware of that.”
Mother: “Well, let me tell you something about my son. He has been on medication since he was six years old- clear up until the time he turned eighteen. When he hit that age, he no longer felt that he needed to take his meds. I couldn’t argue anymore with him because he knew, he was now old enough to where he could do what he wanted and that since he was legally an adult, he didn’t have to listen to his parents any longer. When he’s off of his medication, he does stupid things and gets into trouble. When he takes them, he’s fine- more mature and in control of his actions. We have had many, upon many arguments about the importance of him needing to take his medication”
Stranger: “Well, you should have had him seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist.”
Mother: “My son has seen more psychiatrists and psychologists than you can ever imagine! He never listened to any of them the whole time he’s been growing up. You have no idea of how much money has been invested into his medical needs- you have no idea of how much patience and love has gone into this kid. We have tried our best to raise him right and to teach him what to do and what not to do. Please don’t come to my house presuming you know my son better than I do and telling me, what he needs or that he should have been taught in a different way! Good day Mrs. Jones!”
When people blame the parents for a child’s behaviors or mistakes they are sitting in judgement, plain and simple. What they don’t realize, there ARE parents who can and do try to no end to raise their “Special Needs” children right- just as others who don’t have children with a handicap, but are blessed with “normal” kids. Sometimes however, these, “normal” kids get into just as much trouble as a “Special Needs” kid does too!
In Jacob’s case, his parents did all they could do and still tried to find any other paths and solutions to help him thrive and to become a responsible adult. As he got older, all other options were and have been exhausted. The only thing his parents can do at this point in time is pray he is learning a valuable lesson about how important it is for him to take his medication so he can know the difference between right and wrong…
Medication can be the best thing to happen to certain children, while on the other hand, some children are misdiagnosed and given medication for all of the wrong reasons. With Jacob, he is like Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde with and without it. It’s more to his benefit to take what does help him.
Final thought- to those people who don’t have time to do anything else but, sit in judgement on other people lives, judge not, lest ye be surprised! If they only knew what it was like to walk in certain peoples shoes, I bet, they wouldn’t be so condescending, but understood a little better!