My New Career as a Hypocrite.

I recently started a new job as a behavioral strategist for in home aide support.  I work with and support families who have children with behavioral challenges, usually due to some sort of diagnosis, the majority being autism.  I am good at my job.  I love my job, and I am okay saying these things because it took me a long time to find out what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I can go in and understand how these kids work, I can usually get them to do what I want, and can come with a plan for things that work for them. 

But here’s the thing; I leave at the end of the day.

I look in these parents’ faces and they are exhausted, burnt out, and at the end of their rope.  They tell me I just don’t understand.  And they’re right, I don’t.  I mean I can empathize, and I can relate, and I can share that I have a child with her own challenges.  But like one mom said to me this week “yeah, but she can talk, right?”

What do you say to that mom whose 6-year-old can’t talk?  When the reality is that her son will never live on his own, and may not ever call out for “mommy” when he is hurt?  I am blessed to have the family I do, and I need to realize that more often. 

I also get that there is a whole world of difference between working with someone else’s child and parenting your child.  If I was half as effective with my own daughter as I was with the kids I work with, my life would be so much easier.  I understand that.  But as a parent, it is so hard when other people can get your child to do things that you can’t, that the stranger who comes into your house once a month can get more out of your child in 2 hours than you have 5 years.  I can tell parents that this is normal, that because I have no history with their child, that I can usually get away with more, that kids are ALWAYS worse for their parents…

But none of that makes the hurt and sadness in their hearts better.  I’m sorry.  I wish I could say everything will be fine, and that if you follow steps 1, 2, and 3 everything will be better.  I can’t say that.  I understand that the millions of handouts I give you, and the picture schedules are just one more thing to do in your insanely busy day.  I understand that it is frustrating, stressful, and disheartening to have us come into your home.  I understand that a great number of professionals can make you feel two inches tall.  I understand it because I have been there.

But my daughter can talk right?  So I really haven’t.


About mcwhclan

Mom of two, student, wife, daughter... where does one keep all these hats?
This entry was posted in parenting issues and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My New Career as a Hypocrite.

  1. You just tugged at all of my heart strings. Your job sounds tough, and it’s commendable that you are out there taking the time to help others. It’s people like you who help to make the world a better place.

    PS You are right kids always listen better to people who are not their parents. That’s just the way it goes 🙂

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