Is my child valued by society? This is such a big question, but after watching Gabor Mate: The Myth of Normal, I think it’s absolutely pertinent to ask ourselves and each other, “Am I valued by my society? Is my child, who moves in a different way, valued by society?”
If you live in the US, chances are pretty good that your child is probably not fully valued by their society for exactly who they are. It’s more about what they produce so we can reward, praise, or criticize accordingly. Our children might be revered for their grades, performances, fast times academically and physically, goals attained, willingness (not complaining) to do the next thing on the list, etc.
Many of us are working on educating the world around us with sites like The Mighty, TilT Parenting, or Tiny Buddha just to name a few. The incredible people running these sites are standing up for our differences and championing our unique needs and ways of being. I know I’m trying to do this with my site: Living with a Different Brain.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
But they sure do try, don’t they?
Please check out this insightful and refreshing video that I referenced above: Gabor Mate: The Myth of Normal
He talks about the “Myth of Normal.” If you’re reading this right now, you probably don’t even subscribe to whatever “normal” is. There can be “socially acceptable,” but normal? Not so much.
So my child–who is one of the most incredible human beings I’ve ever met, and yes I’m totally biased–is devalued, and that knowledge and awareness makes me nut-nut.
His inability to conform to regular school settings and transitions, his inability to stop talking in many situations, his inability to do what we expect him to do in certain situations . . . is not OK with others (and I get that). Therefore, he cannot stay in those situations unless he learns to improve or conform or not be himself in some way.
In the video I reference in this article, Gabor Mate talks about the best places for someone with schizophrenia, which is in a small village in Africa or India.
In those special places, people are allowed to be themselves. They’re accepted and allowed to move in the way they move. My son would be supported and championed in that environment however he showed up and with whatever actions he felt compelled to do (within reason, of course) and that makes me happy and teary eyed all at the same time.
I’m sad we don’t accept each other in the US the way I wish we did. Shoot, I barely accept myself on a regular basis, and I think I’m a pretty kick-ass human being. But it’s so dang difficult to remember our perfection day in and day out in this busy world we live in.
Beautiful Stories of Acceptance
Have you ever read I Am Intelligent? Let me tell you what, that was one of the most eye-opening books I’ve ever read and it changed my life. Nonverbal human beings have so much in them, and we just need to find a way to hear them and communicate with them.
Or The Martian Child? Another story of someone falling in love with another perfect child.
Inspirational stories abound! I’m forgetting so many others books and stories, but please share the stories you love in the comments below so we can all be inspired!
Quick Tips on How to Accept Yourself and Your Child Exactly As You Are
As with everything we do to raise our children in the very best way possible, I believe the love and acceptance for ourselves and then others starts in the home. This is how our children will be valued by society.
I love this list from Rediscovered Families titled: How To Accept Your Children Just As They Are
You’ll see in that article where your own work on yourself is so incredibly important. You don’t have to have your children make up for what you feel you lack . . . because you don’t lack anything, just the pathway back to your acceptance of your own perfection.
And this article: How to Accept Yourself: One Simple Rule You Must Know is perfect in so many ways.
Repeat after me and say out loud:
I am enough.
I am worthy.
I am lovable.
I am beautiful.
I love myself.
I’ve even talked about this before: Positive Self-Talk: Change Your Child’s Future
That’s where this all starts. Please know I’m doing this right along with you. Every day. As well as I can. <3
Because we are perfect right where we are,