If you’re the parent of a special needs kid, I’m willing to bet a million dollars that, at some point, you’ve had this thought: ‘That person over there thinks I am a bad parent.’
Am I right? If that thought (or something similar) hasn’t maliciously danced in your head at some point, please let us know your secret! Because these thoughts are truly devastating & destructive.
I know I have felt them at some point. I suspect you have, too.
That certainty — that other parents are watching us and finding us lacking — is in the stare of the mom across the parking lot. The perceived look of disapproval from the guy in the grocery store. The school secretary’s coolness when we drop off our son’s forgotten homework sheet – again.
Every single parent I work with is convinced that they are being judged by other parents. It is far and away one of the most difficult obstacles parents of complex kids face; and ironically, it’s the one challenge that often has no basis in reality or fact.
Get the Facts
Think about it –- when our kids were diagnosed, we took them to multiple physicians, therapists and educators to make sure we had accurate information before moving forward. We needed evidence, facts and supporting paperwork in place before we put a plan of action together.
So why is it, when it comes to evaluating & assessing other people’s opinions, we rely solely on our perception? And more often than not, we’re completely wrong.
There are at least three good reasons why you’re probably mis-reading the signs:
2. You are not a Mind Reader: Let’s face it – you have no idea what’s actually going on in parking-lot-Mom’s head. School-secretary may have just found out that another student’s grandma died and she’s trying to keep her emotions in check. Or, maybe her favorite team lost a big game last night. Who knows for sure? You don’t!
Life with our complex kids can be ridiculously crazy. Most of the time we have little to no control over what happens at school, work or home, so the last thing we need to be worrying about is whether someone else thinks we are a bad parent.
We have power over our minds. We get to choose whatever story we want to tell ourselves. So choose to use your powers for good. Be good to yourself, leave the judging to the courts, and forget about the parking lot, completely!