Parenting a Tween with Cerebral Palsy
“It’s not fair...that other kids can run faster and I have to wear a brace that I don’t like.”
As the mother who hears those words I have so much to say to try to make it better...
Yes, but that brace will help you.
Yes, but as you continue to wear the brace, you’ll get used to it.
Yes, but if you wear it, there is a chance you won’t have to have surgery. The surgery that we’ve been doing our best to avoid for years.
Yes, but everyone has their struggles in life.
However, I can’t change the fact that he has cerebral palsy from a perinatal stroke. I can’t make it better.
So I shut my mouth and listened to his words, I sympathized with him. I told him that his father and I are here for him. I reassured that we will stretch and strengthen with him. We will acknowledge his frustrations and his discomfort.
Also, I will stand strong and be firm, those stretches and strengthening exercises, the therapy, and that set time he must wear the brace is non negotiable. Not on my watch.
As time has lapsed, so has our willingness to ignore what his body needs. We have grown weary. It became regular fights that I threw my hands up in the air and declared him the winner.
But, who really wins? So the way I fight now is to not throw up my hands and declare him the winner, but to walk away after I explain it is happening right now and let him experience the feels he must feel.
I promise him one thing, I do not ask of him anything that I am not willing to go through myself.
And as we continue to go through this together, we will spend time talking about his frustrations and the fact that this is his struggle. He is not alone in living life with struggles. They just manifest in different ways for other people.
And we will continue to share what we are blessed with
every day, even through the struggles.