This is a very interesting, fascinating TED talking about parenting a child that’s different, that’s “not normal”.
A woman had a daughter who was born as a dwarf. And she had to make a fundamental decision about the way she would parent her child.
- say “You’re just like everyone else, but a little bit shorter”
- or create some kind of dwarf-identity, get involved with the Little People of America?
And thinking about this child demonstrated that they were “normal” parents who perceived themselves to have an “extraordinary” child.
There are two kinds of identities:
- vertical identities
passed down from generation to generation. Things like ethnicity, nationality, language, often religion, etc. – you have them in common with your parents and children
- horizontal identities
these are learned from peer-groups. They are alien from your parents, and you discover them by yourself.
When we look at these horizontal identities, these are the ones that are often tried to “fix”. Among them for example is something like being gay.
And there need to be three things to happen to really come to good terms with your horizontal identity:
- family acceptance
- social acceptance
When the family, and particularly the parents don’t accept the horizontal identity of their child, the person tends to become very angry and feel as if they’re not loved. But what actually is happening is that the parents simply don’t accept their social identity. They do love their child however.
It’s very worth watching the whole video, there are more good insights that he shares and if you’re parenting a child that’s different, it’s definitely worth watching.