Tuesday, April 27, 2010
What We Really Want From You....
Our supporters, friends and family (in my opinion).
1. Listen without judgment. That's right, shut your trap and just listen.
2. Offer educated advice. Key word is educated. Yes, that means you have to dust off that book we may have given you. Or check out some links online. If you don't know what to say, go back to number one. It's okay just to listen.
3. Get to the know the child. All children need role models and special people in their lives. Bipolar kids especially do since they usually feel like no one likes them. They may lose friends at school and frustrate teachers.
4. Offer help. If you really care, get off your butt and help. That doesn't mean you have to babysit a mentally ill child (although that would be nice too). But parents have to grocery shop, which can be very difficult if not impossible with a special needs child. Some of us also have other children who may need a break, or who get tired of being dragged to all the doctor and therapy appointments. There's also laundry to be folded and meals to be cooked. Believe me, anything helps. Oh, and we won't ask out right because we don't want you to feel obligated or inconvenienced. We also feel guilty and ashamed about needing help.
5. Treat us like your other friends/family, but also realize our lives are different. And don't get frustrated if we're not always at our best. Because we are under a constant barrage of stress. So cut us some slack if we snap once and a while.
***Edit to add: Tell me I’m doing a great job and that I’m a good mother. I need to hear this often for encouragement by Mama Bear.
***Edit to add: Ask us how our kids are doing, just the same as you would a child with cancer by Jennifer.
***Edit to add: I wish people would work on is learning the difference between pity and sympathy. Nobody wants to be pitied! But most of all? Number one, just like you said: Listen. You can't "fix" it for us and we don't expect you to. Just be there to listen and care. Oh, also? Anyone, anytime, is welcome to clean my bathrooms. By Adrienne.
Did I miss anything? Post a comment on what you'd like others to know and I'll edit the post to add it.