3/10/2010

What Kind Of Rock Are You as a Parent?

Sebelius basically admitted to pressuring media outlets to report disinformation to the public in place of information that does not support the safety of the government’s most heavily promoted drug. --Jake Crosby

In too many states, schools teach inaccurate information in order to appease their citizenry. In Texas, the debate to give creationism or intelligent design taught beside evolution in science classes is always a feisty and active one. The idea that opposing viewpoints not backed by the weight of scientific evidence should have equal play is not a surprising one. If you believe it, you BELIEVE it and you don't like to hear conflicting information. Personally, I don't have any problems if you believe that God created the heavens and earth and all things in between, and the church is the place to teach that. Believers of faith should remember Jesus's own words:

Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. Matthew 22:21
Science-based curriculums are just that. We have enough misinformation in schools as it is and a hard enough time reaching them. And never forget we apparently have science teachers (think of a certain AoA writer) who think all manner of woo and wrong. Science-based for a reason. Evidence-based for a reason. School is Caesar's.

In the same vein, the media has an obligation to report accurately. They don't and we know it. They give too much weight to ad-clicks. And so, they too often present two-sides and afford weight to the side that will get people fired up rather than thinking. Lately, though, the mainstream media has begun to turn its favor away from the anti-vaccine people. You know that coupled with all the body blows they've been taking this year that this has them seriously peeved. They've never been long on facts, and they've never been interested in objective reality. They want the truth, but they only want their version of the truth.

To be fair, most of us do. We want to have our beliefs confirmed; it's so much easier than the brain hurt of thinking. If you're interested in getting as close to objective truth as possible, though, you're willing to suffer the pain of cognitive dissonance and do some hard work.

AoA and the folks who make up that vested readership want it all to go away. All. Their version of the truth and recovered kids so that their struggles will be over. And that's just not the truth. The struggle, the heart pain you have as parents won't end even if you got folks to cave and agree that your version of reality is real, at least to you, and even when you claim to have recovered your children, in the next breath you'll either still admit they're autistic (but better!) or still require special ed services. And say you reach that rocky mountain height of normality you so desperately need for your child, since happy, healthy, and loved aren't sufficient criteria for you, what then? Do you think your job as a parent and the pain you will feel on the behalf of your child will be gone then?

It will not. As a parent, you live from the moment of awareness of conception until you put down this mantle in a state of cognitive dissonance, as a bundle of worries and fears and hopes and dreams. It is a heady existence as a parent, and one of incredible weight and import. You weren't supposed to get through that feeling nothing unpleasant or uncomfortable. You built a picture of what your children would be (to you) and didn't consider that you had it all wrong. It's about what you'll be to your children. Will you be their rock, their foundation? Or will you be their rock, their anchor, continually weighing them down with the crushing sense of their inadequacy to you?

(picture for a moment if you will that this was written before my eyes could clearly focus on the screen, with nary a sip of coffee and with today's theme music provided courtesy of overfiring neurons: "Angels Flying too Close to the Ground" sung by Willie Nelson)

2 comments:

just a little dharma bum said...

"You built a picture of what your children would be (to you) and didn't consider that you had it all wrong. It's about what you'll be to your children. Will you be their rock, their foundation? Or will you be their rock, their anchor, continually weighing them down with the crushing sense of their inadequacy to you?"

This is one of those instances I was on about on facebook yesterday, where expectation and attachment to a specific outcome cause suffering. [Go Buddha!]

If I had ever expected C., or any of my three boys for that matter, to be a certain way, it would've caused so many problems. C. was a non-verbal, poop-smearing, people-ignoring, walking-over-other-children wild child at time of diagnosis. His autism does not manifest this way now, four years later. I've not used biomed, just love, support and education.

Would it still be "that kind of autism" if I had been weighed down by expectation, behaved in a woe-is-me way, and as a result of these feelings, resorted to various unproven treatments whilst ignoring what my son actually needed from me? I do wonder. I see a lot of kids improve with understanding, encouragement and an IEP, without a supplement or treatment in sight. But I am open to being wrong ... I just don't think I am :)

kathleen said...

I often wonder just why people have children. I don't mean that in a snarky way, it is an honest question. It just seems as though people forget-in the excitement of having a child , that they are giving birth to human beings-people in their own right.
You can be your childs rock-or you can be Sisyphus.