I struggled with inspiration for a topic this month. Truly struggled. It was thanks to my step son that I found one.... hours before the newsletter is due to go to the web.
We were talking about the struggles of being different and how the world and society just deals with these differences by lumping all the different people together even though they themselves have nothing in common.
He is thinking of starting a group for young people with Autism spectrum Disorders. Not just another group the same as all the others but one that allows them to meet and talk about the reality of their lives and to have some fun too. I am glad he has seen the point behind what I have been saying... if you can't find the solution by asking you have to seek the solution by looking. In other words you can't really expect people to go out of their way and help you when they don't even really know what it is you need.
More power to him I say. I am proud of how far he has come in the last few months.
It comes back to a simple lesson I have empowered my kids with at every opportunity There is no such thing as normal, Stop looking for the normal or ordinary. Look for the extraordinary. Find those people with amazing minds and surround yourself with facinating, unique individuals rather than a bunch of yesmen Unless you intention is to start a cult yesmen are boring.
The most important thing as parents is to appreciate the unique qualities our children have and embrace their individuality. By allowing them to be themselves while setting boundaries you foster strong individuals with higher self esteem than they would have had otherwise. Some children come under our influence when their self image has already been damaged and take extra energy and time to rebuild that happy view of themselves while others suffer from medical issues that impact on their view of themselves causing injury to their psyche that takes years to help them put back together if at all.
But through it all you love them and hug them and try to always be there to listen to them but you must balance that , especially as they get older, by sharing how you are feeling and showing them how you cope in certain situations, and even how you don't cope on occasion. This is how they learn that shit happens but it doesn't have to be the end of the world.
I was saddened to read that yet another teenager had committed suicide due to cyber bullying. Bullying of any kind has the most damaging impact on young people because it goes unnoticed by adults. A bit of razzing here and there never did anyone any harm is spouted by adults with regularity. Truth is it does harm kids. It causes ongoing psychological damage not only to the victim but also to the witnesses AND ultimately the bully themselves. We must never ever allow bullying to go on as parents. It is too costly to leave it be and to view it as a normal part of childhood. With access to the internet the bully of old has now become relentless as where previously a child would have a reprieve from the bully at home, or at school if home was where the bully lived, nowdays there is no break and the bullying is very public.
But you mustn't blame the technology. While it is true that the law struggles to keep up with technology and technology puts our children in harms way it isn't a new danger that can not be dealt with by attentive parents.
The bullying though is another thing. Parents, teachers, peers and police all need to be supportive of the bullied child. It is NOT their fault. We need to empower our children. We need to make them feel strong without the need to put others down. We need to feed them with positive, enthusiastic, creative energy so that that is what they give out to others. We do not bring out the best in our children by bullying them to study harder, picking on them for their bad posture and overly criticising their appearance, this only builds resentment.
We need to encourage them to reach out and strive for that dream that sparks their imagination. We need to foster enthusiasm for life and joy in the world while balancing that with a regular reality check that all is not so good and that as citizens of the world we should do something about it however we can.
We can only bring out the best in our children by being our best too. They learn from example. They only take risks if they can see we are prepared to take risks and put ourselves on the line. They only value themselves as people if they believe we value them and they can see we value ourselves.
So to all my unique,individual, creative geniuses... all seven of you... I love you heaps and I think you are all wonderful beautiful people.
My risk this month is I am going to attempt to start a podcast... If you would like to send me an email with a suggestion for topics to discuss that would be very cool... I will launch it through Cosmic Cauldron radio when it does happen.
My daughter's risk is undertaking the 40 hour famine... though she is not giving away food as that would be no real challenge and would just make her sick... she has chosen to go 40 hours without technology... no phone, lights, television, ipod, internet, radio, anything... I am impressed she chose such a challenge when she could have just given up furniture for 40 hours. I will be supporting her through this and you can check out my facebook later in August to sponsor her.
Meanwhile take a peek at my boys in Wayfinder's new video collection:
An organization that I am happy to support is Autism SA. I have many family members and friends who have Autism spectrum disorders and other such disorders and when I found out about this event I though how completely appropriate. Click on the link and register if you are in Australia as it is happening all round the country. http://drawtism.com.au
would love to recieve emails containing FEED
BACK about her column so please send an email to:
© July 2009 by Louise O'Brien
Site designed by Mystic Grove. © Copyrighted 2003 - 2009. All Rights Reserved.