I listen to the parents I work with and one of the moms said to me last week, “You should blog about parent guilt!” Being a mom of three grown boys, I am well versed in parent guilt. When the elementary school called to suggest reading help for my son, I immediately thought, “Didn’t I read to him enough?” Why is it that we always blame ourselves??
I am privileged to have a relationship of trust with many of the moms and dads with whom I work. They share their struggles with guilt over whether they are spending too much time with the child with speech and language delay/disorder versus siblings, if they have “caused” the problem somehow by missing ear infections or not seeing signs early enough to detect disorders.
First of all, the parents I work with are my heroes. They are full-out working on behalf of their child, implementing techniques in my absence to move their child ahead, learning what toys, books and games are best to stimulate language, changing around the playroom for pretend play or going to seminars to educate themselves on the best therapy for their child.
I often tell parents that we don’t have a crystal ball to foresee the future or be able to assign causes for their child’s speech and language issues. For instance, some children with frequent ear infections during the second year when language is developing, lag in their language development, and other children with the same number of ear infections don’t.
My main point to parents is to try not to look back, but garner your energy and use it to move forward and find the best program of intervention for your child and join in as a partner in the process.