- Mandy Nielsen
Mandy Nielsen (her son attends Dyslexia Center of Utah)
Everyone wants to be accepted. For children who struggle with dyslexia, acceptance can be difficult to find. One of the most important things that I have learned as a parent of a non-neurotypical child is that embracing them means embracing all of them. Not some future version where the reading and behavior is perfect. Not just on the good days. But embracing it all.
This kind of radical acceptance of embracing, loving, and encouraging a child JUST as they are RIGHT NOW is empowering to them. We let them know that we see and love them as they are. That our acceptance and love is not conditional on anything they do externally. They are loved and embraced just by being themselves.
Embracing your child authentically might look like expressing how much you love them out of the blue, unconnected to any kind of achievement or behavior. It might look like driving them to tutoring and telling them you are proud of them for showing up. It might look like not comparing them to others, even their own past. We can also embrace our children more wholly by learning about their interests, recognizing their individual strengths, and reaffirming to them that there is nothing they need to do to earn our love or approval. Those things will ALWAYS be there. One of my favorite quotes is, “Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded” by Jessica Lair. As we embrace our children for who they are, they will unfold themselves to us and to the world. What a beautiful sight that will be.