We all read about having a “challenging” child. The challenges can range from simple behavior issues to a wide-range of diagnosed learning disabilities and illnesses. It seems to me it’s hard enough – these days – to raise good kids, period. Imagine when you add the stress of a real illness or a real challenging mental or learning disorder to the mix?
How do you cope? How does a relationship/marriage cope? What if you are doing the parenting alone? How much help is available in the public sphere? Do friends stay or abandon you? Do relatives? Who do you turn to, to simply rant or share a hard day’s frustration? THIS is the topic for #DadChat on Thursday, May 30 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PT/9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET. Prizes tonight – read further for details and images.
Raising kids, like many things in life, involves many factors but luck is a key factor. Raising kids takes a lot of luck. I’ve faced recent reminders about this when I attended the Bar Mitzvah of a young man with severe learning disabilities, whose parents had the poor luck that he had these problems. Or, the recent visit from my best friend who shared a conversation he just had with his wife in which they were each trying to figure out what they did wrong that resulted in their three adult children lacking any career focus in their lives. And, finally, the two men I know who are suffering the horrors of dealing with late teen or young adult drug addicts.
In the world of show business, to illustrate another world and example, do you really think the big stars in Hollywood are the most talented? While I love Jennifer Lopez and do indeed think she is quite talented, there was a certain degree of luck that they were making a movie about the life of Selena when J.Lo was just beginning her career. If her first movie had been a flop, would we be seeing her in every celebrity magazine?
(Note: I consider this an early Thanksgiving-themed blog – enjoy)
I attended the Bar Mitzvah of a friend’s son recently. This young man has some relatively severe learning disabilities. Yet, his parents provided him with the sort of support that was full of love and understanding for him. The rabbi adjusted the service to allow him full participation, within his limits, and it was as loving a right-of-passage as possible, with an equally classy and terrific party afterward.
Even the weather cooperated, as their theme was a rainbow and at just the right moment, with all of the guests gathered outside, the rabbi asked us to turn around. We saw the setting sun actually make e a slight rainbow, as if Industrial Light & Magic were hired to create it.