Taking Responsibility for Our Village

As parents, we may be faced with difficult choices, difficult decisions, and sometimes we get a little sidetracked and lose sight of who we are. Families, and parents in particular, can become really pivotal figures in the development of their children. This is not to say that as parents we shouldn’t depend on a village to raise our children. Much to the contrary, we should keep the village in mind, but we also need to understand that each person within the village has a role that he or she must be responsible for.
It may be tempting to rely solely and exclusively on the knowledge and experience of another person, but the truth is that there is no replacement for the knowledge that we as parents, or as family members, can provide. Therefore, pointing fingers is not useful. Providing support is. Support comes in many different forms and in different directions. We are accustomed to talking about “support” as in coming from the professional to the family, but the family can also provide support to the professional.
In an ideal situation, collaboration is mutual, the village grows, and the knowledge is shared. For example, when a child is having a difficult time focusing on a particular toy, it is important to ask the parent if there was anything happening during the week that may have determined the behavior. The parent may provide information that will save time and frustration to the child, and the teacher may be able to introduce a novel toy so that the child can learn a new task. Support can be something that seems very simple but can have powerful consequences. Knowing that the child had a negative experience with the toy prevents frustration and promotes a positive learning environment.
Our village is richer, when we all collaborate. The questions still remains, what do we do in the face of frustrations? We look inside. There is a way to move forward. There is someone to reach out to. There is a helping hand.

If you are experiencing frustration, have questions, or just want connect, please leave me at the contact form below.

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I’m so Afraid!

Your child’s education may seem like a puzzle, an enigma that is difficult to figure out. Sometimes it is overwhelming, and it is easier to freeze with fear than to push ahead. I want to tell you that it is ok to be afraid. It is also ok to not know what to do, to not have all the answers. We need to start somewhere, and sometimes where we start it is a place of fear. Making peace with fear and accepting that fear will be a factor that is present in our lives will make an impact and will help in moving forward.
How do we deal with fear? It is important to know, that even though “conquering fear” is a very popular concept, it is not a practical one. Fear is something to accept, live with, recognize, but never let it rule us. Fear is an emotion, just like any other. Fear should not overcome us. When we are overwhelmed by feelings of “what do I do next?” or “why would they listen to me?” it is important to say, “Fear, I know you, I understand you, but I have to put you aside for now.” This is how we move on. We continue to move forward in spite of our fear. We continue to push ahead. We continue to walk this journey, together with our fear.
So when fear strikes, and the IEP meeting is around the corner, we should still ask questions, even if we are shaking, even if we feel like our question is not worth asking. All questions are worth spending time on, and all fears are worth exploring. People that deal with these situations should be understanding. If they are not, the burden is not on you. It’s on them.
Take a deep breath, exhale, and feel the spark within yourself. You can do this. You are afraid, yes, but you can do this, for yourself, for your child, and for your family.
And as always, reach out to me with comments and questions. You are not alone.