this one is personal…
When you decide to put your thoughts out on the internet, there’s certain realities you must face. Some people will agree and some won’t. Some will judge, some won’t. Some will genuinely appreciate the effort and some will genuinely not understand why you waste your time. In the end though, finding the courage to share my opinions and experiences in this blog has been an incredible opportunity for growth, and as written a few times before, the benefits have far outweighted the negatives. I’m here to stay.
It’s long been a goal of mine to remove judgment of other people as much as possible. Obviously it’s not a 100% proposition, but to the extent possible, the best practice for me is always to not form an opinion based on tidbits of information. It would be completely hypocritical of me to pretend that this goal is always in action, but it’s something I’m constantly striving for.
The relationship I have, or perhaps I should say don’t have, with my parents has long been a sore spot for me. Despite my best efforts, and surely to some extent their’s too, our lifestyles, thoughts, values, emotions, and feelings, have never seemed to align. It at times can be a tough pill to swallow and there are days where admittedly the stress of the relationship can bring me to tears, mostly because I do not know how to make things better. Or perhaps it’s because it’s finally hit me that it won’t get better, and acceptance is at hand. So, when I see or experience parents in some way minimizing their kids needs, wants, or struggles, it’s fair to say that my response will sometimes be more emotional than it should. There has never been a time when my emotions have overcome my judgment, but there are times where I might resemble a duck on a pond – appearing calm on the surface and paddling like crazy underneath. It’s often been suggested to me that this quality is both my biggest strength and my greatest weakness.
Chances are excellent that we’ve all experienced a situation where one parent is pro-VT and the other is not. Without getting into who may be right and who may be wrong, there is sometimes an issue exposed in the disagreement that is unsettling. This issue is not at all related to the value of Vision Therapy, but in the value of the investment one might be making their child, completely unrelated to money. This is all about presence. People are always welcome to question what we do, they’re always welcome to doubt that Vision Therapy will work, and they’re always welcome to ask for more information or do their own research. They’re even welcome to take the advice of someone who claims VT is bunk. That is how the game is played. The challenge for me, and I’m guessing many like me, is people who decline services simply because they themselves as parents are not willing to supply the necessary effort for their children. Perhaps some rationalize these thoughts by suggesting their kids need to better apply themselves, perhaps some suggest their kids lack personal drive, and still there are some who deny the problem exists in the first place. No matter the rationale, in the end it’s the child that loses, everytime. When a child feels that they are not worth the effort, we’ve already lost. Please believe me, I’ve been there, and the road to recovery is painful.
I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, or anyone who may be as qualified to help with such issues. Still, I cannot help but wonder what the kids must feel like when it’s common knowledge they’re struggling and one of their parents expresses disinterest. Or even worse, one parent is trying to help and the other parent is blaming the child. As someone who experienced this in my own childhood, part of me wants to stand up to yell and scream at these parents and refocus them on what is truly important. Professionalism, being the only thing that stops me. Although I’m now an adult with kids of my own, there are moments where those feelings are triggered.
Today, while answering the phone in our office, I spoke to a mother who was quite upset because she understands the benefits of VT, her son has been evaluated and needs VT, and her husband has made it clear that he is simply not interested. He gives no reasons. He gives no alternatives. He has no information contradicting the doctor’s findings. He just simply is not willing to put forth the effort as a parent. Therefore, VT is not an option.
Admittedly, tonight, I’m working very hard not to judge.