Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Compassion or Completely Ignore

Now that you have seen the raw numbers, I have a question: "what can we do about having so many neighbors facing a lifetime of medical. emotional, relational and spiritual barriers? Is there anything we can do to show compassion?

What would it take to really make a difference in the lives of these families? Do we need to have special training? Will I have to return to college and get another degree? If we get involved is there a danger the child could get sick or even die when I am caring for him or her? Do we have to sign a confidentiality statement or be in violation of the HIPPA Laws?

Well, it is easy to answer some of these questions. For example. HIPPA does not apply to caring for a person. Some of you do not even know what HIPPA is, but I have gotten this question several times already and I need to calm people's fears.

Second, our focus is on supporting the parents. Here is what we know about the challenges of rearing children. Parenting is not for cowards. It is stressful, wearying and full of overwhelming challenges that call for wisdom and experience. Oh, an by the way, it can be expensive. For parents and siblings and extended family members of children with a serious medical problem, the stresses, costs and demands seven days each week 24 hours per day are much higher.

Think and pray about what you as a young parent would need from friends, neighbors and caring Christians. Go through your own days with a small child or two and think what it costs you to always be on call. I will share later with you specifically what the parents in our yearlong study told us they needed, but I want you to think it over on your own.

One story comes to mind from a young mother with a son who was finding self discipline a hard thing to master. She went to a festival alone with two children and the eldest started taking his clothes off. As he ran before his mom she was carrying her baby and trying to catch the speeding kid who was rapidly moving ahead and re-moving his clothes.

Mom had such amazing resiliency. Despite originally feeling embarrassed, she decided that day to stop trying to become a super mom and be a regular mom with two hyper energetic sons. No more Wonder Woman, just be herself and enjoy those kids as much as possible.

Blessings and go to our web page and read some of it. You may also want to watch one or two of our videos. They are produced especially for parents and care givers but the principles will apply to anyone who is alive and kicking through life.

We will train folks with our Special Life Skills so they can tend to the parents, listen to them and help with practical things. We have a simple plan to positively support the families in need and help them achieve a place of joy, resilience and family love.

Thanks for reading...I would love to hear your feedback and questions. I am awfully bored just writing to myself.

By the way, we are putting up our display at the Xavier University sponsored Symposium Friday called Remarkable Parents. It will honor parents of children with a special need who have shown love, caring, innovation and resiliency.

Gary Sweeten

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