Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Parenting contradiction #2049

Part of the job of raising little humans is training them out of bad behaviors and into good ones, or at least attempting to do so.  There is a judgement each parent makes with their little ones -- what should be changed?  What is fine as it is?  It is a troublesome line to walk.  On the one hand we as parents want our children to feel completely loved just the way they are while almost simultaneously we press upon them our desire for improvements.    It is a curious juxtaposition of "You are so awesome!" and "But let's work on x!".  The latter makes a lie of the former, acknowledging implicitly that there is some aspect that falls short of awesome.

The push for learning and changing is probably part of every parent child relationship but perhaps none more so than in the case of high functioning autistic children.  Sometimes their very proximity to the norm increases the ambition to get them there, as if they were a puzzle piece that almost fit.  If it was a radically different piece you wouldn't even imagine trying to make the fit, but since it's pretty close you are sometimes tempted to hammer it in.

I worry about this.  Our Little Guy has had so many different kinds of therapy -- all amounting to "learn! change!".  It's gotten him where he is today -- able to participate in life in a way not vastly different than his typically developing peers.   I see the obvious importance of Little Guy improving basic skills.  I hate the message behind it that feels less and less hidden the older he grows.  All I can do is keep reminding him that we do love him completely just the way he is, even as we seek to change him.

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