The Dragonfly Forest

They have been given names such as devil’s darning needle, ear sewer, horse stinger, skeeter hawk, and the snake’s servant. Actually, Dragonflies are beneficial, peaceful, and stunning. You are a Dragonfly if you are: ADD/ADHD, dyslexic, dysgraphic, Asperger’s, NLVD, autistic…

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ways to deal with unwanted advice, judgment, and opinions from family and friends during the holiday season

 It is the holiday time again and I think it is important to discuss ways to stay positive when feeling judged by family and friends.  Sometimes others do not understand what it is like to be a Dragonfly or to raise a Dragonfly which leads to unwanted advice, judgment, and opinions.    Comments can range from the covert "Where is his/her coat?" to the more overt "My child would NEVER do/act like that."  or "If they were MY child they would behave." 

First, remember you have the power to choose how you will react do not let them control your behavior with their words.

Second, know that you will NOT change a person's opinions or beliefs unless they are open to changing these opinions and beliefs.  

Third, try one of these tactics depending on what is said:

  • Explain instead of defend: "Oh I thought you knew my son/daughter has [Asperger's, Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD, Dysgraphia...].  His/her behaviors/choices are related to the way the brain is developed.  There's actually a lot to learn about [diagnosis] if you are ever interested I'll share some of the research with you."
  • Use sarcasm: "Oh, my child has [diagnosis].  What's your excuse for being rude?"  Or, "I'm so glad to know that your parenting skills are so great and your children turned out perfect.  God probably knew that you couldn't handle challenges so He gave you calm and compliant children.  God knows I'm strong and therefore He gave me these extra special children who needed a great parent." 
  • Use humor:  "Yep, my son/daughter is working on his/her superpowers.  He/she has yet to master the ability to break windows with his/her scream."  
  • Ignore the comment and change the subject:  "Oh, hey, I saw on Facebook that you just got a new job what are you doing now."  Or "That's a beautiful sweater where did you get it?  Don't tell me you made it yourself."  
Fourth, you need to know these opinions, judgement, and beliefs are often said out of ignorance, insecurity, or rudeness.  Sometimes people really thinks they are being helpful, but most of the time people just believe that their opinions of parenting are the "correct" way and yours are wrong.  Remember Confirmation bias (see previous posts for details on this)

The key is to NOT take these thoughts, judgments, and opinions personal.  YOU are doing the best you can do and that is all that is needed.  You do not need to listen to the advice of others cause YOU are the expert - not them!  

Here's a great cartoon that I think is very funny and could make people more open and accepting.  

**Note - I am not pushing meds so please no negative comments on how meds are not the solution.  I just thought this was funny!