But when we reject the medical model and negative stereotypes presented by doctors and accepted by society,
we can anchor ourselves to the reality that
our children have bright futures and unlimited potential. . .
YOUR belief in your child has a greater influence
over his SUCCESS than his disability.
~ Kathie Snow,
Disability Is Natural: Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Successful Children with Disabilities
As Kathie Snow’s (Disability is Natural is a must read for parents) quote above reminds us, our belief in our children carries so much more influence than what the medical profession and society would lead us to believe.
Parents are children’s greatest influencers – for better or for worse. If those are your only two options, why not strive for the “better” option?
Much of the content and creations here at Radiant Abilities is centered on the helping to support, motivate, and empower adults with disabilities. I never forget, though, where this all began – with the extraordinary parenting I received.
Get a free download to help guide you with applying the empowering concepts discuss in this post with your child (of any age!) This free video will help you even further.
My parents certainly weren’t prepared to raise a child with a significant, lifelong disability. Hey, who is ever prepared for that? They did know how to LOVE me, though.
LOVE – acceptance and honoring your child for who they are; their being and not what they do.
That and one other crucial item that I’ll get to in a moment, shaped my entire life and the way I approached living with this lifelong condition of cerebral palsy.
Love, as we know, does many things. It emotionally nourishes us, teaches us compassion, soothes us, gives us strength, and on and on.
Especially when a child lives with a disability, the lessons of love teach that little soul to value himself, exactly as he is. The world will either overtly or covertly tell him differently. That profound source of parental love will keep him centered on his value as a human BEING and not a human doing.
This love, this message of worth, then lays the foundation for that second necessary item for empowerment – EXPECTATIONS.
EXPECTATIONS – discover your child’s abilities and building on those to help him create a successful life.
Let me explain further. Think about your own life. When you feel loved by someone that inherently gives you the confidence to believe in yourself and what you want to accomplish, even when it feels very daunting. The love from others nourishes your own sense of value in yourself – and your ability to believe in yourself.
This is so critical for children and adults with disabilities, because let’s face it, the world does judge us harsher than others. However, the more we are loved by our family and/or our circle of support, the less that matters. Really and truly.
Furthermore, when we have expectations of accomplishing things, having a meaningful life, and doing what makes us happy, we become so focused on those things, we can more easily filter out the judgments of others.
One of the greatest gifts I received in my own life regarding expectations placed upon me was from the doctor who diagnosed me with cerebral. He delivered the news to my parents in a way that offered them hope and a sense that they, through their expectations of me, could determine my success way more than CP ever could. It was a rarity in the late 1960s that a doctor would be that positive about a diagnosis of a disability.
Now For You…
Want to learn more about empowering your child with a healthy sense of self and the four elements of empowerment that you can use every day to do so? Join me August 4 at 2:00pm (EST) to learn how. Register here.