N: A to Z of Family Rights and Lives
Our A to Z series of Family Rights and Lives has proved ever so popular. So many families have contacted us to say how much they relate to the points we are raising.
Family Rights and Lives covers all those aspects of our lives, be they positive or negative, that make an impact on us as we travel along this road of many twists, u-turns and cross roads. We ask each week in our Facebook group what each letter stands for and we are always inundated with responses. Join our group and get involved or if you are not a Facebook fan, then you can complete the quick form at the bottom of the post to feed in your suggestions.
Today we are looking at the letter N. N is for Negligence, neurotic, new beginnings, nightmare, nurture, nonsense, notes and normality. It can also stand for Not listening, not finding, not being told, and many other NOTs.
N is for:
Negligence: Negligence can cause a small hiccough (if someone was negligent in putting paperwork in at the right time) or it can result in death. Be prepared though, people don’t like to accept that they were or are negligent. Be prepared to battle, be prepared to have your own character assassinated, be prepared to have your parenting skills questioned and also be prepared for them to fight dirty.
Neurotic: A label given to parents who know something isn’t quite right but the cost of addressing this isn’t in the budget. Many of us will have been described as neurotic at one point or another, we may have even questioned our own sanity.
New Year. New beginnings. Keeping all those promises we make to ourselves and keeping to those New Year resolutions is hard. Easy to say but much more challenging to keep; whether it is to run in the mornings, keeping off the booze, losing weight, being nicer to the neighbours, trying to keep calm in meetings or just generally coping better. How often do we set ourselves up to fail? Be kind to yourself. Set goals and aim for something rather than making a resolution to give something up.
Nightmare: have you ever thought “please let this just be a bad dream”? There are times in our world when you know if you read this in a book or saw it as a script on Eastenders, you just wouldn’t believe it. There are times when we see, read or hear of other parent’s experiences when you think “how can this be allowed to happen” but sadly the nightmare is a reality and we must be prepared to face our nightmare even when we have had no sleep.
Nonsense: Total and utter nonsense. How often do the bureaucratic decisions seem to be void of any common sense? How often do we hear total nonsense? We know we are not alone in replying “far too often”. It may be things you hear from family or friends, or it may be a decision made by a panel who have never actually met your child. Nonsense is a culture, one that needs to change.
Normality: Something we often aspire to or dream about, but stop for a minute and remember “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”
Notes: Keep them religiously. If you are in a meeting, take notes (or ask a friend along to do that for you) and at the end of the meeting, recap the key points and ask everyone there if they are accurate. So, for example, if you believe that someone has agreed to do something by a certain date, ask them to confirm that they said that. If you believe that a further appointment date has been agreed, just confirm that the other person said that. If possible, write the action points out clearly and ask people in the room to initial them if they agree.
Nth Degree: something we are all pushed to at some point.
Nuisance: Another label given to parents, and sometimes to our children. Don’t worry about being a nuisance. If you feel that your child or young person needs support in any area, be it education, health or care – then keep asking.
Nurturing: something we often forget to take time out for. We don’t just have to nurture our children and young people, we have to take time to nurture ourselves. If we abandon our own needs and resilience, we are not going to be as capable of helping our children and young people to have expectations or be resilient.
Next week we will be bringing you the letter O. What does that stand for? Let us know what you think should be included.
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Debs is one of the co-founders and Directors of Bringing Us Together. She is mum to three child with a variety of SEND and has a great husband.