Tuesday, November 15, 2011

newfound anxieties.

Can't sleep...so I'm working on getting my thoughts outta my brain onto here.  It's gonna be deep...but let's see how it goes....

I watched my show Parenthood tonight.  Absolutely love it.  I make myself stay up for it since it's on from 10-11 at night.  Kinda stretchin' it for me to be functional the next day, but tonight is a different story.  After watching this particular episode, my mind just would not rest.  I discovered a couple newfound anxieties that I haven't acknowledged much until now. 

Parenting a teen.....and bullying.

The boy, Max, suffers from Aspberger's, which is a high-functioning form of Autism.  The parents decided to mainstream him in a public school this particular grade.  He's a junior-higher I believe.  Having Aspberger's, he's an absolute genius at math, however has some odd habits and is awkward socially.  So, of course, he is made fun of by his so-called friends.  Max is oblivious to the fact that this is happening, but the parents see it happening after school right in front of them.  So, the mom decides to do something about it and approaches the bully herself.  As parents, they feel better about confronting the situation, and the episode goes on from there. 

It really got to me.  I'm going to be a parent dealing with this situation someday.  And I keep asking myself how I will handle it.  I can completely picture myself being that "Mama bear" and taking control of it right then and there.  I tell ya, it gets my blood boiling just thinking about it.

My problem is, why are there so many darn kids that do it?  Why aren't we teaching them as parents to not be mean and not bully others?  Why aren't we teaching them why some kids are different than they are?

Just the other week I had to answer questions from a child about Isaac.  The conversation simply went like this:
child: "Is Isaac mean at school?"
me: "Why are you asking me that?"
child: "Because he doesn't know how to talk and share."
Me: "Well, that is why he is going to a special school to help him learn how to do those things."

Short and simple conversation with this young child, yet SO MUCH I felt was underlying in these questions.  Why do you think Isaac is mean?  Do you think kids that don't know how to talk are mean?  Do you know my son?  Obviously not.  And WHY aren't your parents talking to you about this child that you're around so much, yet know so little about his "differences"? 

If you're a parent....do me a favor.  TEACH them differences.  TEACH them that not every kid is like them.  Take their blinders off at an EARLY age so they don't hurt another kid by asking them what's wrong with them.  TEACH them that not every one is perfect like they think they, themselves are.

Help them to not be that bully.  It only takes a couple words.

So as I'm awake tonight I also looked up my devotion for the day to see how it would speak to me...and here's what it said:

The title was "Labels"  (how appropriate, right?:))

here's a small excert from it....

Jesus did not create us to wear the labels of this world, even the ones we place on ourselves. Instead, He created us as His “dearly loved children” (Eph. 5:1 NIV).

     Labels get in the way of this. They keep us tagged with unhealthy stigmas, emotions and pieces from our past that weigh on us and stifle His intention for our life.

And now I'm speechless.  God works in the ways only we can understand, because that says it all right there.


Shannon said...

I completely get where you are coming from in this. It is one of the reasons we took Gavin out of the public school and I am homeschooling. When you have a "labeled" child, they are an instant target. And when you are a teacher with 27 students, you can't watch out for them. It's so hard.......

Janice Troyer said...

as a new parent, thank you for this challenge! keep 'em coming.
and thanks for the authentic honesty...

Amanda Stoltzfus said...

great post Lindsay!!!

Nikki said...

First and foremost: Love ya girl :)
And I want you to remember something: There is NOBODY better suited to be Isaac's Mama than you. God hand-picked you for the job...what an honor! You are doing an amazing job w/him. Keep up the good work :)

Jewel said...

Oh, Lindsay, I'm so sorry that you have to go through "all that!" I can only imagine how difficult it is for you guys. Praying for guidance & a sense of peace!

aliciamarie911 said...

Children these days are cruel, heck--they've always been cruel, but it seems that things are getting worse! I'd like to think that the world is full of parents who teach their children to do the right things, are kind to others, and are accepting of everyone, but unfortunately that isn't the reality. I agree with you completely, the parents MUST do their part by raising caring,accepting children. If only the schools were more knowledgeable about these issues, it would help.

By the way, I'm your newest follower, and i'm coming from www.aliciamarie911.blogspot.com

Linz said...

Thanks so much Alicia! And welcome:)

Anonymous said...

I love reading your post, Lindsay...I too watch parenthood, and wow..what a great show. That moment also challenged me to think about how I teach in my classroom, and how we are raising our son. Challenging, and great to know your heart on the issue. Keep doing what you are doing- you are a great Mom!
-Sarah Beiler