Social networking websites are the wave of the future. I am a Facebook member and make daily contact with more than 100 friends. Many of my readers are not much different from me.
But, are social networking sites always a good thing?
I often read posts about parents asking for advice for something specific regarding one of their children. The responses always astound me! It’s as though the people I’m friends with are getting advice from the same people that are always interviewed after the tornado has torn through the trailer park! You know the ones… Lacking teeth, thick accent, outhouse still on the property, hillbilly from hell! (I can say this because my people come from backwoods Tennessee so I’m at least half hick!) The parenting advice alone should land these folks in the middle of a battle with a children’s services agency.
I work with parents with questions on a daily basis. I always try to steer them away from asking for advice on social networking sites for these reasons. I instead encourage them to seek out other parents who have children with similar disorders or delays. You would think that was safe.
A co-worker came to me the other day because a parent she works questioned how to get her child with a diagnosed genetic disorder to stop pulling hair. My co-worker told me that the mother posed the question on a chat board located in a reputable website related to her child’s disorder. She received many answers. Some she could work with, others did not suit her family well. One of the answers she shared disturbed me in that “tornado hick” kind of way.
A parent actually posted that she sprays her child in the face with a squirt bottle whenever hair pulling starts and the child has stopped doing it. I was immediately reminded of the line from Mrs. Doubtfire “Leland get back in your cage!”
I spray my cat when she’s getting into something on my counter. But my children?? I tell them “no”. I redirect them when I can. I work hard to make sure that they are not hit or harmed in any way.
Is this corporal punishment? Not in the true sense of the words. But it certainly rides right along the border of being a punishable offense. It disturbs me that much more because it’s being done to a child with a disability.
I suspect I’ve jumped on this soapbox today to make sure that as parents we watch where we get our support from. We all need it – severly at times. We just need to make sure that we take everything with a grain of salt and use our common sense to determine what works best for our child, for our family. To make sure that needs are being met without harm to the child or the adult.
I pray that the mother that posted the squirt bottle comment finds some support for her and her child. And I pray that all of you have fabulous people in your lives that give you advice that you can use to best meet the needs of your child and your family.