Most friends and family don’t truly understand what’s going on inside as you raise a child who struggles. They don’t see inside your heart, mind, or home behind closed doors. You, your child, and your household often look entirely different to them than the reality of your life.
Feeling alone is the hardest part of raising our hurt kids. To be truly understood and supported would change the entire experience for the better. I thought I would put together a few things I think we all want our friends and family along with teachers and other professionals to understand. If it resonates, share them with and educate those around you.
5 Things That Parents of Hurt Kids Want the World To Know (and REALLY understand)
1. My child looks normal (and sometimes even really put-together) on the outside, but not on the inside. A child who has experienced early trauma looks like any other child physically. However, early trauma actually changes the brain. He is behind emotionally and neurologically.
2. My child probably seems like a "perfect" kid to you, but...there's a lot you don't see. Mental and emotional health struggles are tricky and not always obvious.
3. I can feel when you judge parenting decisions and it hurts me. To live with a child who struggles the way mine does is like always waiting for the other shoe to drop. It is overwhelmingly stressful. I really need you to stand beside me rather than behind me.
4. I know that the way I parent is very different than the way you do. It's on purpose. Typical parenting techniques don't work for children who are hurt in the way mine are. Unless you have walked my path, please don't question me.
5. I feel SO alone, but it is hard for me to reach out to others. It would mean a lot to me if you would call me every once in a while, drop off a casserole or make plans for coffee.
As you’re raising your hurt child, remember that you’re not alone. People across the globe experience the same isolation. This is a very difficult job - parenting a hurt child. Let's talk about it, let's teach about it and let's reach out to each other. There's a lot of hope to be had when we stick together. Remember...you are NOT alone!