Friday, 22 February 2008

Our children teach us

Raising a child is undoubtedly the most important thing you will do with your life.
Children: have the ability to turn our lives upside down, to disrupt our plans and our sleep, to try our patience, and to elicit our most ferocious love. But children also have the power to teach us the greatest lessons we'll ever learn....

Some of the things i have learnt;
You have eyes in the back of your head.
You have radar ears
To take nothing for granted.
To trust my instincts.
Unconditional love.
Responsibility.
Sense of humour is essential for survival.
Accepting of my own frailties and failings.
All the words to Thomas the tank engine.

I found this over at Jim's DEEP Thoughts, these are things i have also learnt as a parent.

THE VALUE OF LIFE WITH A DISABILITY
Most of society sees people with disabilities as persons who are flawed, pitiful and without dignity. But we see ourselves as a vital and proud community, with values of our own that enhance our quality of life, values that could enhance life for all:
Tolerance for others' differences (racial, intellectual, financial/class)
Matter-of-fact orientation toward helping; acceptance of human interdependence over rugged individualism.
High tolerance for lack of resolution, living with unknowns or less-than-ideal outcomes.
Characteristic dark humour, laughing at the oppressor, finding humour in almost any aspect of life
Highly developed skills at managing multiple problems, systems, and helpers.
Creativity, lack of rigidity, ability to use traditional elements in new ways to solve problems
Sophisticated future orientation; planning around anticipated obstacles.
Ability to read others' attitudes; skill at filling in the gaps and sorting out contradictory messages.

Convinced that through their honest hearts and open minds children can help us to reconnect with our own innocence... cultivate patience and gratitude... live more spontaneously... rediscover the pleasures of play... be profoundly present in our relationships... and, ultimately, become better parents and happier people.

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

What have you learnt?

59 comments:

Chris H said...

Truthfully? I have learnt that you REALLY CAN'T PUT THEM BACK.... dammit!!! *Laughing* ... sometimes I wish I could. I tell all my kids.... just you be BLOODY sure before you bring a baby into the world.. you may think a baby is just so ADORABLE, but believe me.. they morph into friggin horrible toddlers, know-it-all kids, disgusting teenagers and EVENTUALLY (if you are lucky) kinda OK adults. But it takes a long time, and you have to survive the morphing without killing them or yourself. THAT IS ALL.

Elissa - Managing Autism said...

Love

Courage

... Still trying to learn how to 'let go'...

Forgiveness

Laughter

... love... the answer is always love... and love unconditionally... always...

Tom Foolery said...

To try and see life through the eyes of a child....TFX

A Bishops wife said...

I have been accused of having "eyes in the back of my head"!! I too know the the joys of "Thomas The Tank Engine" all day long, every day over and over again...

I love being the mom to my kids.

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

I have learned that too many times we spent time wishing that the kids were grown up and complaining how hard it is and then suddenly they are grown up and in our case have left home and we are left wondering what happened and realising that maybe we didn't take the time to enjoy and appreciate every second with them. Which of course is rose coloured - but I tell every new parent - ENJOY every second both good and bad - it goes so quickly.

Mrs. C said...

Our littlest isn't quite a month old. I'd make a coherent comment except for the fact that I've had about seven hours' sleep in the last three days.

buffalodickdy said...

Raising kids- by the time you get the hang of it, they are already grown up....

Swearing Mother said...

I have learnt never to relax as far as my kids are concerned (they're adults now) because the moment you allow yourself the merest thought that things seem to be sorting themselves out now, the poo will surely hit the fan in bucketloads.

I've also learnt never to let on you've got any spare money, or it won't be spare for very long.

Another thing is not to compare your kids, with all their problems, with other people's perfect ones who play the violin, tap dance, speak fifteen languages and are made Head Girl because they are SO popular. That way lies madness.

It's probably all lies anyway.

Ah cynicism, greasing the wheels of parenthood.

Odat said...

Innocence...laughter.

Peace

Jim said...

Through children, especially disabled children, "life" have taught us the true meaning of life. We are no longer superficial beings but rather, deep respect for life and understanding. Our hearts got bigger.

LceeL said...

I have learned that the parents of ASD kids become the Best Parents in the World.

FXSmom said...

I have learned to appreciate even the smallest of accomplishments

nitebyrd said...

I've learnt that you do your absolute best in everything for your children. Then pray they will take what you have told, shown, did, given, with love - with them when they are ready to enter the real world.

Seamus said...

Raising our 3 girls was the most profound time in our life, learning and growing with them. Now we see that that tenfold in how the girls are raising their children. It sure wasn't without its issues, but it has been so very worth it!

mumkeepingsane said...

That I can survive anything? *laughing*

Seriously, my kids have taught me how strong I can be. How much I can love another human being. They've just helped me be a much better ME. Which feels fabulous.

Zoƫ said...

I learned that it OK to be me, and even being me, is lovable, although on a bad day I am apt to forget.

Queenie said...

Hope you don't mind me popping over, call me nosey but I've seen you at Marmies. Your words are so true, my son is 25 now, but I still worry about him.
Up to 4yrs ago I worked as a teaching assistant for children up to 8yrs old and before that with young adults with autism. For the last 2yrs I have had mobility problems and have been forced to stay at home (for the time being I am also unable to drive). I enjoyed my work at the school, more than words can say and miss it like mad, they really did teach me what life was about. You have an excellent blog here.

PI said...

I'm still learning but I know love is a very precious gift. If only the poor boy with Tourette's syndrome- that I saw in a ducumentary on a London Street, on TV last night, had had some love- maybe he have could have survived.

Dazzed and Confused said...

The biggest thing I learnt from my children is responsibility. The biggest thing they learned from me, I hope, is to respect others. It was for the most part fun bringing them up but I sure am glad they are grown.

Ron said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today and for leaving a comment. I was SOOO HAPPY to click on your profile and find your blog!!!!

This is some Divine Order.

My dearest friend in Florida has an 18 year son with autism, so what you share here, touches me deeply.

Thank you for this. If you don't mind, I would like to give her your link, so she can visit you here. I know she will find great comfort in hearing your words.

What a LOVELY post. I've learned some of the most enlightening lessons from children. And MANY times...have been my GREATEST teachers!

Thank you for sharing this blog. I know that reaches out and touches many!

Have a nice weekend!

Mima said...

I don't have any children, and will never have the opportunity to bring a precious young life into the world, and that is the thing that I found hardest about becoming this ill. I would love to have had the chance to learn in this way and to cherish another in the particular way that parents do (warts and all).

graceunderautism said...

I've definitely learned that I can not fit my kids into a mold. what works for one does NOT work for the other. I can not expect to see the same results from child #2 even if I use the same methods. They are unique and so are all of us as parents.

Annieye said...

I remember sitting cross-legged on my sofa at the age of twenty-four, in the first throes of labour with my daughter. It was in the early hours of the morning on 14th July 1980.

I can remember it so vividly because of how I felt - the responsibility of motherhood and loving the little life I was about to give birth to.

If I could go back and give myself just one pearl of wisdom it would be to tell myself that the most precious gift you can give a child is your time.

leslie said...

I've learned unconditional love - since I never had it myself as a child or even as an adult from my own father, I am aware of showing it constantly to my two daughters. And, as you know from my recent post about my own "invisible disability," I've been given the ability to empathise with others who have to face tough times themselves whether it be illness or some sort of disability. Living each day with my own levels of pain, I still have to be there particularly for D#2 while she struggles with living a bipolar disordered life. *sigh*

Billy said...

I have learned that the simple lessons are the ones with the best chance to stick, like the ones from Thomas the Tank Engine, which I adore ... or the ones from Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

Lane said...

I've learnt patience. Or should that be - I'm learning patience:-)

I love your blog:-)

david mcmahon said...

What an amazing post of strength, love and conviction. Being a parent has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life.

Punkys Dilemma said...

I have learned the true meaning of unconditional love....silly, nonesensical laughter...blessed to see things the average person may not, becuz of my non-verbal daughter.
Thanks for giving me a bit of calm today, in my chaotic life! :)

Doc said...

My son isn't even nine months old yet but he has taught me so much about life and other people... It's a big learning curve when you realize that this tiny new life is totally dependent on me (and my wife)

Patti said...

It's true that children teach us more than we could ever teach them.

I've learned patience and I guess I would tell new parents to try to always be patient with their little ones. They do grow quickly.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I have learnt that children teach us someone new every single day. My disabled daughter has taught me how to stay calm, be patient and accept life the way it is.

Crystal xx

motherx said...

Ive learnt many things, but ones that spring to mind are:
Unconditional love
Paitence!
Eyes in the back of my head
Radar ears!
Acceptance
True pain
Determination
Hope
The true value of my own life
How to talk the autistic language

Sadie said...

*cheers* Wonderful post!!

What have I learned?

1) That it ISN'T easier the second time around
2) Not to let who *I* was determine who THEY are
3)The indescribable fear of knowing SOMETHING is wrong, but not knowing WHAT it is or HOW to help it.
4) How to hurry up...and wait.
5) More medical knowledge than I ever thought I'd need.

Tons more...but I'll stop there :D
(Expect an email from me)

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I have no kids, but Jim is spot on.

Ellee Seymour said...

Tolerance, the fact that you are their role models for later life, and unconditional love which lasts for ever.

Deb said...

I have learned so much from my child and I know I will learn more. Being a parent is a gift in so many ways.

thecanvasgrey said...

I thought I knew what unconditional love was until I had kids...now I KNOW what unconditional love is!

akakarma said...

I've learned unresentful sacrifice, generosity of spirit, how to love in general...

Flea said...

That my children are and are not me. They are individuals, meant to be who they are, designed for a purpose. But I see myself - my fears, my humor, my faults - in them. They're big fun-house mirrors, except instead of seeing myself distorted in them, I'm looking at the clear picture of who I am through them. It's when I think I truly see myself by looking inside ME that it's really distorted. Does that make sense?

bonbon momma said...

I have learned that I wasn't as smart as I thought I was.
I have learned to treasure the small stuff.
Not to take anything and I mean anything for granted.

Sweet Irene said...

You ask such deep confrontational questions about life and children that I find I can't answer, because I would have to do a lot of soul searching and I don't want to do that, because I would run into sadness.

Maybe that's what I learned, that besides the joy there is a lot of sadness. Enormous amounts of it, but you already knew that, maybe?

Angela said...

I am blind but you could swear I can see through walls
My son has shown me even more that the sun shines even on the cloudy days

DJ Kirkby said...

That although sticks and stones can break bones, names also can hurt!

Anne said...

My son is 25 and autistic (dx at age 7). He is verbal (since age 12) and now high functioning. I am 54 and have RR Multiple Sclerosis (dx at age 23).

I have learned that he is a deep thinker and that the words that come out don't always represent what he thinks. I have learned to listen more closely and to think before I speak because he is like a sponge and will retain every word I say. He will repeat some things as if he were a tape recorder and sometimes I don't "play back" as well after the first rendering.

He has taught me how to perservere (?) when frustration is at its height.

Thank you for your blog and insights into your autistic son's world.

Smalltown RN said...

Well said....I have learnt so much form my girls...especially my youngest daugher who at a young age of 8 was diagnosed with cancer...we got through it all but that experience taught me so much....she is an old soul and wise beyond her years....she has faced many adversities over her life and somehow seems to rise above...yes that daughter of mine certainly has taught me a few things about life...

Akelamalu said...

The true meaning of unconditional love! Also that we are all here for a reason - the two disabled grandchildren we lost taught us all so much.

Melissa said...

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”

Very poignant. I have learned that as much as I want to be a planner and have my future all laid out, it just simply isn't possible.

I have also learned that what the future holds is also a mystery for parents of non-special needs kiddos. Accepting this fact has helped me sit back and embrace the NOW.

teeni said...

I love your posts. I'm adding you to my reader so I don't lose you again.

SB said...

I am learning constantly. A bunch of little things that add up to the BIG PICTURE....

I've learned to be myself.
I've learned that love truly has no limits (but my patience does.)
I've learned that laughter through tears is a constant theme in my life.
I learn and keep trying.
Most days, that's all I can ask of myself.

:)

Maggie May said...

I practiced with my children, did my best & made mistakes. Learnt patience & now have a second chance while my grandchildren are living with me! Love overcomes everything!

the other lion said...

I love it. My heart feels heavy some days. Not with anger or resentment--just mostly fear of the unknown. Posts like this help give me strength to deal with the fits and the frustration and the self-abusive behaviors and the wanting to do everything "na-nen" (again) in a more patient and loving manner.

Angela said...

Thank you for posting this... beautifully said!

Eileen said...

In my flu induced haze, I swore I posted a response yesterday. I have learned that I have a lot more inner strength (more than I ever dreamed), unconditional love...in fact a feeling of love so strong, unlike anything I have ever felt and also feeling of such rage and homicidal (kidding) feelings when my children are hurt or mistreated by others. I did not know I had that much anger within me. I guess a general sense of protectiveness and caretaking. Putting another person needs before your own. That is what motherhood has done to me. It is the best thing I have ever done in my life.
XOXOXO

Kelly Malloy said...

That doctors can be wrong!

Marla said...

Beautiful. I know I have learned more than I thought possible, continue to learn and feel so humbled many times when raising M. Like last night I had to apologize to M twice! It seemed I kept forgetting she is Autistic and expected major changes. Parenting is hard work!

Billy Boy said...

Writing on casdok blog.......
Making tea without tea bags.....
Milking a cow by hand.........
making your own butter AND bread.....
Writing out a cheque or it will
be soon...!!
getting up from your chair to
turn over the T.V.!!!
CD'S ARE ON THE WAY OUT....will
every body be able to work out
how to used a MP3...?

Judith said...

Unconditional, beautiful love ..

melody said...

Two important things I have learned from my sons...to never, ever listen when people say "he can't do that"...to never, ever give up.

Golightly said...

Wonderful post, that's what I've been learning for the last couple of years, eh?

Visited from David McMahon's site.