Stand Up For Down

Rob Snow interviewed me recently. We discussed all kinds of stuff, but the theme centered on how Kerry and I raised Jillian. I’m always hesitant to offer parents advice. Child-rearing is a very personal thing, and never one-size-fits-all. We have lost friends because of our philosophy regarding our daughter. That should never be.

Parenting is like putting in golf. It’s mostly feel. We inherit certain beliefs, we discard others. We make mistakes. We try to learn from them. The one thing I will say for sure is, we raised Jillian the same way we raised our 29-year-old son, Kelly. Same expectations, same responsibilities. Jillian had household chores, she had homework. Her disability never was an excuse for not doing something.

Kerry insisted Jillian walk as soon as she was able, even if that meant all of us walking imagemore slowly. Kerry made sure Jillian made eye contact when she spoke to others. We spent lots of time telling Jillian to “put her tongue away.”

We didnt shelter our “typical” son. Why would we shelter our daughter?

We let Jillian define herself. She would tell us what she could and couldn’t do. It was hard for us to do, sometimes. Parental instincts are what they are. But that’s how we did it.

Everyone’s different and that’s OK.

Meantime, here’s the link to the podcast Rob and I did.My part begins at about 56:30:

You can also access it at rob@standupfordowns.org.

Expect. Don’t accept.

Thanks for reading.

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