Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Failure IS an Option

Tonight we had an in-home training with a local autism advocate. These training sessions are just in general and help educate parents with children on the spectrum. They are required to receive the therapeutic services we do from this group. Anywho, tonight's training was about Thinking Sets and helping change the way people view disabilities. I pride myself in being educated about things that are important, and my children top that list. Plus, I've worked with children for many years, including children on the autism spectrum and children with other various disabilities, so most of these training topics were not new to me. So, here I am bopping along bragging about our reward system which gives them rewards for completing their chores instead of punishments for not completing them. And the freedom I give to my children by letting them have many choices in their day, such as choosing their clothes. And how I use "people first language" (i.e. a person with autism, not an autistic person) when I speak about people. And a whole bunch of other things that only Mother of the Year can do (*this is an unofficial title, I haven't actually won any awards*). Here I am, thinking I'm all high and mighty when she said something that shattered my world: Let them fail.

What? Failure?! Why would I let them fail when I could just help them succeed? What could possibly be learned from failure. Nothing! Nothing I tell you. Failure has never helped anyone and I'm doing a huge service by keeping them from experiencing it.

Except, I'm not.

I honestly hadn't put too much thought into it, or I would have been working on it before. I pride myself on being self-aware, which was why this revelation shattered my world. Here I am, going along with life thinking I know myself and then I learn this. This was truly an epiphany to me and caused me to take a good, hard look at the issues and annoyances we (I)  face.

Everyone leans on me for everything. Not sure where a dish goes? Ask mom. Don't know if these clothes match? Ask mom. Need to know what to cook for supper? Ask mom. The list goes on and on. These people (and I'm adding my hubs into this category as well) can't accomplish anything or make any decisions without my approval. And. it. drives. me. crazy. So now I'm forced to re-examine it and realize that maybe, just maybe...

I caused this?!?  (<--both of those are me beating up myself)

Really? In subconsciously trying to keep them from experiencing failure, I have created a whole household of human beings that are dependent on me for everything. And it's irritating. Oh so irritating. And what's more irritating is that I caused it. There's nothing like being irritated by something that you caused. It's being irritated by yourself. That's a whole new level of irritation, I tell you.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm happy to know because now I can fix it (ignorance ain't bliss, ya'll) and teach my family to be self-sufficient and learn from their mistakes. I can stop Hubs from feeling like he needs to check in with me on every. single. thing. I can teach Goober and Bub to pay attention to their surroundings and learn from their mistakes the only way they can: by making them. There is much to be gained from this earth-shattering revelation, and I plan on fixing it.

Wish them luck. There will be many failures in the near future.

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