Friday, August 31, 2012

A Bar Set Too High

 I'm a bit put out right now by something I read by another homeschool mom. She was talking about how another mother pointed out something her daughter was doing that was disrespectful. And that she realized the other mother was right, and instead of defending her daughter, she needed to apologize to the mom and correct her daughter's behavior. All of this is fine. Too many times, children are left to be little monsters because the parents get all mother bear when someone points a flaw in their children. We've all seen it. If we were truthful, we've all missed our kids' misbehaviors at one time or another. I actually would rather someone come to me if my kid was acting up, if possible, than someone else trying to deal with the kid herself. So I wasn't too put out by the original post.

What got to me were the comments below the post. Some of the people wrote things that seemed  critical and judgemental. Someone recommended a child rearing method that is so rules based, and I feel so destructive, that I won't even mention the name. These people set standards high for others, including their children, and come down with judgement when others can't possibly meet those expectations. It's all law, and no grace.

So I wrote the following:

But please remember that some mothers, like me, have children who have hidden disabilities like autism, FASD, mental retardation, RAD, etc. I raised four birth children successfully and this advice would be good. Now that I am raising two adoptive children with some of the above conditions, I give more grace to those parents around me who are struggling in their ability to overcome damaged brains. The kids and parents are doing their best, but it would still fall short of some people's expectations.

What I didn't write was that it took years for my kids to obey any authority, especially me. Moms really get hit hard by RAD. It took years before my son would stop hitting me, kicking me, and using his toys as missiles to lob at me every time he was crossed or stressed. That he still swears at me when he is in pain. That my kids still lie, disobey, and a host of things that would send those pharisaical women's heads spinning! Is it because of a lack of training on my part? Though I haven't been perfect, we have worked harder than most parents could ever imagine.

 If these women could see my kids in public at certain times, they would probably look down their nose at me, and keep their kids from being defiled by mine. But they would not see the progress my kids have made, they would not see the place the kids were at when they came to our house, or the damage that trauma and prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol have done to their brains. They would not see that my kids are heroes! They have overcome and are learning to overcome things that no child should ever have to overcome.

These women would also not see the blessing these kids have been to me. They have taught me grace and love that does not depend on works. They have shown me in such a deep way that God can even love me, as imperfect as I am. They have shown me that it doesn't matter how high the bar is, God's love is able to carry me over. My kids over. The world over.

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