Protective parenting

I’ve been asking myself the same question for most of my adult life. Why wouldn’t a parent want to protect their child, particularly if they were dealing with physical problems? We should want to protect our children, so their lives are made easier with whatever they’re dealing with.

Without getting the balance right between protection and over-protection our lives are often shaped for the wrong reasons, which we may go on to find out, turn out for the right reasons in the longer term; but we can’t always know that at the time.

In other ways I was protected; but when it came to my disability I was exposed, but I know my formative years helped make me stronger. As a deep thinker I was aware of how my world was being shaped and from an early age I knew I needed to change the way I perceived my life if I was going to make it through my problems.

Because I was born with Cerebral Palsy and those issues weren’t being addressed, I literally had no choice but to change my perceptions on the way I accepted what was going on in my life. The way I see it, is that we can sit back and accept things as they are or we can decide to do something about the cards we’ve been dealt and change our lives, so that we feel better about what we deal with.

In an ideal world, all parents would protect their children, but we’re not in an ideal world and it’s not what all parents do. It took me many years to work that out. How parents interact with their children depends on how they cope with their own lives. I assumed in my naivety, it was a given.

From my own experience, when we don’t have someone to look out for us, we either change things for ourselves, or we accept our fate as it is.


12 Jun, 2013

6 thoughts on “Protective parenting

  1. I think if you decide to have children you should accept the fact that you have to look out for them. Do what’s right for the child not for yourself. Doing things for yourself and ignoring what the child needs is selfish.

    Sometimes we can’t know that the child is going to have a disability but when we find out we should accept it and do what’s right for the child. Some parents are just plain in the dark, others live in a make believe world where things are okay and others are just plain lazy or selfish.

    My daughter had a lot of problems growing up but I accepted them and did the best I could by her. My son has multiple problems and we adopted him knowing that he had all these problems and we do what ever it takes for him.

    By doing things for the child with problems while they are young will hopefully make their life easier when they are an adult. We can’t read people’s mind, so we don’t know what these parents that ignore problems think.

    I think maybe that they think if they don’t worry with the problem it may go away.

    1. I think we’ll never know what some parents think, although from my own experience I know why my father didn’t want to know. I know he couldn’t cope with any of it and that’s fine.

      Over the years we tend to get a picture of why our parents behave in the way they do. We eventually come to our own conclusions and understanding. I don’t believe any parent who copes with their child being disabled in any way, would literally ignore their problems.

      I believe when we ignore something like that it comes from not being able to adapt and deal with someone who has emotional or physical problems. It’s not easy but back then was a stigma too. Parents would rather hide than admit they were dealing with a child with a disability.

      Now of course things are different. We embrace disability better.

  2. My parents tended to overprotect me. They tried to shelter me from the world and all the mean things in it.

    As a result I never really had a clear sense of who I was other than a kid with a disability. I still fight with this to this day to find out what my purpose in life is and why I am here.

    Some day I will find out. Still searching.

    1. I hope you do Randy. Yes parents tend to go one of two ways, but I also believe society is to blame also.

      Either way is tough. I hope you get to find out what your purpose is. We all deserve to have that, disabled or not.

  3. My parents went from one end of the spectrum to the other on their parenting styles which was very confusing to say the least. I hate to think what would have happened if any of my siblings or I had been a specials needs child as we would have really been out of luck!

    They mostly focused on their own needs and if there was anything left over we would get the scraps. It was just very hard to get a grasp on what they were thinking most of the time!

    I wanted so very much to do better for my daughter who has CP. It crushed me in so many ways that I wasn’t able to do the right thing at the time and left her with her mother when I should have fought for custody.

    Amazingly my daughter has mostly forgiven me and still wants me to be a part of her life. The most I can do now is try to be there for her and do the best I can to help her out!

    1. Unfortunately Randy it was the way your parents coped with their own lives. It’s not to say it’s right, just what it was.

      As you say you had difficulties coping with what your daughter had to cope with. It’s great that you’ve both moved on and you’re a part of each others lives now. That’s what matters.

      We cannot turn back the clock on decisions we make, but we can change what and where we go from here.

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