Imagine you have a son. He’s very healthy and normal – just like any other kids.
Except that he has no hands and only a leg.
What are you going to do? Freaked out?
- Are you worried how he will cope when he grows up?
- Are you going to send him to school for handicapped people?
- Are you going to separate him from other children so that he will not get all the teases and stares?
- Are you going to be with him all the times – even to school and public places – just to “protect” him?
- Are you going to stop him from taking up sports – because of his physical disabilities?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, you belong to the majority.
I guess many parents will do the same as you do. And by the numbers, you are on the right track, right?
Because you ARE NOT doing a great favor to your “son.”
In fact, you might even destroy his future.
Contrary to what most parents do, fortunately for Roger Crawford, his parents did not constrain him when he was small. His parents did not do any of the above, too.
Perhaps except #1. Roger’s parents did worry about his future but they did the right thing of letting him roam the streets freely, so to speak.
That was one of the best gifts his parents ever gave him – as Roger revealed later in his autobiography.
Roger’s parents did not put him behind a fence and stop him from mingling with people outside the house.
Anyway, if you don’t know Roger, he was born with no hands and only one leg. He fits exactly the “son” that I described at the beginning. Roger is a real person and I did not make it up.
Despite the stares and hurtful comments, Roger’s parents let him swim in public pool (as opposed to his physically challenged neighbor’s parents who built a private pool). Roger’s parents let him go to “normal” school. Roger’s parents let him play tennis. Roger’s parents let him drive.
In short, his parents let Roger live a life like other normal people do.
The message I want to drive home is:
Regardless of any disabilities or handicaps, don’t treat your child differently. Help him blend in with the society. Help him cope and be comfortable with his handicaps. Help him accept who he is. Help him focus on his strengths, not his handicaps.
Long story short, with sheer determination and strong mental attitude, Roger overcame adversities and became a professional tennis player and now a professional speaker. He has even been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame.
His achievements are unmatchable even for able-bodied persons. Roger has achieved a lot in his life despite his disabilities. All because his parents did not treat him differently.
Before I go, let me end this with a quote from Roger:
“The only difference between you and me is that you can see my handicaps but I can’t see yours.”
P.S. Teaching your child to focus on his strengths and talents forms a main part of my new book “The Nonconformist’s Guide to Parenting.”
To get notified when the book is ready and enjoy an early bird discount, hop on to the notification list.
P.P.S. In case you noticed, I have changed the title of the new book from “The Uncensored Guide” to “The Nonconformist’s Guide.”
To better reflect the book… besides it sounds cooler and sexier too. Hope you like it!