G: A to Z of Family Rights and Lives
We continue with our A to Z of Family Rights and Lives. Today we are looking at G.
Gadgets: Where would we be without them? Whether they come in the form of equipment, app, pecs – all of them make our life that little bit easier. Well, in theory. Obviously equipment fails, apps crash, PECs get destroyed (or lost) and getting gadgets replaced can involve a huge amount of “bang head against brick wall here” please.
What gadget has been invaluable to you?
Gains: For all the battles, stress and sleepless nights, there are also many gains to having our children and young people in our lives. Least of all, you will meet some other amazing families and parents, you will learn about real perspective so the little things that keep others awake at night have little consequence to many of us.
What have you gained?
Gin n Tonic: Or whatever your poison of choice may be.
G*ts: And we don’t mean our children. These are the jobsworths, the “you should feel honoured I have given you an appointment”, the “do you know how important I am”, the “well we’ve always done it this way”, the “I’m the person with the degree” and the “I’ll say I will come back to you but we both know I won’t” type of g*ts. The worst type of g*t is the “I know I am in the wrong but boy, watch how quickly I cover my a*s so you will have a battle to prove it” and yes sadly, they do exist. These are the people who really are in the wrong job. These are the ones who leave you feeling inadequate, neurotic, demanding, inconsequential, uninformed or any of those other lovely negatives.
How many g*ts have you dealt with?
Goals: It is so important to have goals, not just for our children and young people but for ourselves. If we have a goal for our child – even if it seems so unachievable just now – it gives you something to work towards, something to focus on. Goals are never an overnight success, they often present real challenges but without them, we lose focus and start to accept the unacceptable.
Good Day/Bad Day: One of the popular Person Centred Tools. What does a Good Day look like? What does a Bad Day look like? What do we need to do to have more Good Days? Bringing Us Together are planning to help families understand and use Person Centred Tools so don’t forget to sign up to our blog to make sure you don’t miss out.
Do you use Good Day/Bad Day? Have you used it for yourself, or just for your child/young person?
Google: The Go To for many families. How often do we walk away from meetings and go straight to google. We find ourselves googling late into the night, researching and gaining information to enlighten us!
How often have you scared yourself senseless with information from google?
Great Expectations: We should be allowed to have Great Expectations of our children and young people. If we don’t, then they won’t and no one else will. We should aim high for them, we know their limitations but we also know their abilities. Use this knowledge to set Goals that have Great Expectations.
Have you had Great Expectations for your child but had these dismissed by others? How did you overcome that or did you accept their views?
Grin & Bear It: Sometimes, we are made to feel that we just have to grin and bear it. Sometimes, grinning is just not possible. Sometimes, grimaces are easier to do.
What one tip would you give to new families to help them cope?
GSOH – Absolutely essential. Without a Good Sense of Humour, it all goes pear shaped. When the sense of humour fails, don’t be too proud to ask for help.
Guarantees: With the legislation around to supposedly support our children and young people, they should be guaranteed a good education, great social care and health provision, all offered in a person centred way. Sadly, local policy often doesn’t reflect legislation and postcode lotteries exist to cause friction between families. Often, it is the families who shout the loudest who get the most, rather than the families who need the support.
Guides: Jargon buster guides, benefit guides, guides to Codes of Practice, guides, guides and more guides. Sadly as soon as most of them are published, they are out of date. They often only reflect legislation and not local policy .
Is there a particular Guide you have found beneficial?
** ** ** ** ** **
Thanks to Ros Gowers, Liz Barraclough, Liz Wilson, Kerry Fox and Jenny Carter for their contributons (and a fun evening in Bringing Us Together – a place to share)
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.