Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Walk a Mile in my shoes....

WARNING ranting ahead! I need to start by saying,  if your child does not have a life threatening medical condition and you are NOT a Dr., please, plleeaase-keep your "advice" and helpful "comments" to yourself.  This morning I was given a lecture by a mother in Alexa's class.  I left the school wondering what makes some people think they can offer up unsolicited advice/comments on other people's lives when they have no idea of the realities they face every day.  This morning, I was speaking to a friend (who has a child in the same class) about Alexa's recent behavior at home.  She's been well behaved at school but at home she has been angry, unkind and down right nasty towards me and her baby brother.  As I was speaking with my friend, I said "She seems to be taking it out on me".  A woman behind me piped up and said "I wouldn't call it 'taking it out' on you, she's just exhausted and adjusting to kindergarten." ok, harmless enough and probably true.  She then went on about how I need to provide Alexa with a safe outlet to vent her feelings and gave specific ideas.  I wanted to ask her if she was a psychologist but instead I nodded, smiled and thanked her for her advice.  Then I said,  "I've been wondering if she's feeling anxious about being in a school where they serve peanut butter.  This is her first time dealing with it and I'm wondering if that may have something to do with it."  She immediately said "Whatever anxiety she's experience is coming from you and it's being transferred to her." WOW!  Now, I'm not saying this woman is wrong.  Actually, she probably has a valid point.  I do need to be more careful about showing my anxiety to Alexa but what bothers me most about her comment is that other parents often label parents of food allergic children as "anxious" or "overprotective".  I believe most parents of a child with a life threatening medical condition have some level of anxiety about it, whether it's food allergies, seizures, diabetes or some other condition.  It's only natural and frankly, it's to be expected!  I wish that parents would support each other more.  I little understanding and compassion can go a LONG way in this world!

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