Those of us with behaviorally disordered kids get them all the time: Stares. Glares. Looks of indignation. Eye rolls. Huffs. Puffs. Expressions that say, “Lady, get control of your kid!”
So this blog is dedicated to those people who shoot the looks of disapproval.
Dear shoppers on the run, strangers waiting in line, and cashiers at the counter,
It may look like I have failed miserably at raising a well-behaved child. He appears to be an ordinary kid who somehow turned into a monster from bad parenting. And maybe he is irritating you. Maybe you’re annoyed beyond belief at my child’s outbursts. You’ve had a long day, and my kid is whining, stomping his feet, and refusing to stand still. He’s bumping into you in line. He’s giving you a headache. Taxing, I know.
Just to enlighten you, I spend a great deal of my life “getting control of my kid.” That includes visits with doctors, therapists, counselors, special education teachers, and behavioral specialists. I read books, articles, and often resort to my own trial-and-error experiments. My child has a disability; it’s just not immediately apparent from his appearance. My all-consuming job of parenting this child is exhausting. And there are times I sit at home in frustrated contemplation, wondering what I could do better. I want to help my child fit in to the real world. But he is unique in every way. God designed him like that, perhaps to teach the rest of us a little patience and restraint. And maybe unconditional love.
The truth is, I’m a very good parent. I’m devoted. I use discipline, and I’ve exhausted various “time out” strategies. I don’t eat bonbons and watch sitcoms while my kid has his run of the place. I haven’t pampered him and spoiled him rotten, creating the reactions you’re seeing. I’m not some kind of lame-brain who shouldn’t have the right to be a parent. And I don’t mean you any harm. I’d simply like to purchase the macaroni and cheese and cheerios in my cart, and be on my way. But it does mean that you might be inconvenienced.
I love my child.
Forgive the disruption, and thanks for understanding. (Do you?)
The Lady with the Out-of-Control Kid
P.S. Can you babysit at my house on Friday night?
For tips on dealing with your childs tantrums in public, click here.