Sunday, January 8, 2017

Serious Sunday

The longer I live, the more important I think being bluntly honest is.

It is a social skill to hold your tongue. I have held my tongue a lot. Most of the time I have been glad I did in that in learning more, I would have regretted what I said. Not having to apologize for my presumption is the least of the problem, it is just that what you say can never be fully retracted.

That said, I still think just telling it how it is is important. When I taught school, beating around the bush about a child's problem actually exacerbated the problem. My dad said to describe exactly what the child was doing, the parents would recognize it.
Wintertime in Georgia

My dad was right. One year I was fed up with the profession. I had planned to get myself together that year financially, etc and look for another job. At parent conferences, when I spoke to parents, I could hear the soft scrapping of chairs as my colleagues briefly pushed back their chairs afraid of my rhetoric. None of the parent's got mad, they recognized what I was saying.

Yes I did have a few "hard nuts" I could not crack. Like all things, I worked with what I had. Interesting enough, I had several of those children in the night school program I taught at in subsequent years. Those same parents who felt their children were delicate china at one time could care less about their discipline. Children's uncontrolled behavior eventually make their parent's miserable.

There is another type of child that is hard to discipline because of difficult parents. These same children have to foist that parent's anger off of them to you. I told one little girl whose parents made me miserable that I did not remember her. How else do you start with a clean slate on a formerly bad relationship. With a straight face I told her she must have been pretty good, I remember the difficult kids.

Long story short, I taught this child math and when I worked with her individually, she shared how she hid in her bedroom when home. The night school worked well because her mother went into her tirades worst in the evening.

Even though that "white lie" was useful, I still don't believe in saying them. Very rarely do they help.

I had a student that the assistant principal felt sorry for the mom and situation. The boy was a "holy terror". There was no checkmate. I understood the AP's compassion. But, I had that child for about 3 hours out of the seven hour day. Long story short, he got older and into big trouble. Mom had a hard time coping but the situation got way out of hand. It may have gotten there anyway; but, it is easier to stop things in the beginning.

My other feeling about honesty is that we are creatures of habit. I have known people who were very nice, earnest people. I also knew they lied very easily and about matters of little relevance to anyone including themselves. I ran into a consummate liar this past month. I'll use what he had in a story. You have to respect a person's privacy even though you despise what they did. Plus, you can be sued. They may not win; but what a lot of time lost.

Why am I talking about lying. Well, when negotiating with people you lose the truth at times.

The good news is my sister is in a rehab hospital for a few weeks. Hopefully, she will be able to stand and walk some when she leaves. More importantly be able to bathe, dress herself, and use the toilet. Big steps to getting back to a normal life.

Her physical therapist is young. My sister is frustrated with her body and yes there is pain. The physical therapist is good and inept. Inept in that she is lecturing my sister. When you work with children or adults, the more you talk, the less you communicate. Long story short, she wanted to discuss my sister's temper. I did not know what to say. She does have a temper. So do I. So I said, "I guess it is the Irish in us."

If I told her the truth (I felt aggravated with all the pep talk lecturing she was doing), she would have been offended. There would be about a 20 percent chance she would have listened. At that age, I would been the same. So today, I am going to give my sister a pep talk. I'm giving her a glittery necklace to use like a tiara. When she goes to therapy, take off the tiara. You're just an ole Cinderella until the therapy is over. I'm giving her a nicer necklace to wear to remember she can do it.

It's a mind game. When I left yesterday, I worry they will throw my sister out. Hence my visit today will be for another dose of my homemade physical therapy as well as companionship. Hopefully one or both will egg her on.  It's easy to ask someone to suck it up. I just wish her the best in doing it. She has other therapist which I hope will help the physical therapist.

How would you handle this?

I will eventually say something if it persists. It's ridiculous for a twenty something healthcare worker to do all that lecturing about something she has never faced.







17 comments:

  1. Sounds like your sister is improving and a few weeks will do wonders for her.Make sure and offer her lots of support and encouragement.You have been of great benefit so far for her so keep it up.

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    1. Thanks mountain man, we have no where to go but up, at least I hope. She is progressing and it sure could be worse.

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  2. You and your sister certainly have some challenges ahead....I like your creativity, with your sister, and her therapy.

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    1. Hell on Earth is what it feels like at time. I just know we both have got to have a good attitude or it will be all downhill. I knew there was a downside to getting older. I just thought it would be having time on my hands.

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  3. Sometimes we have to decide what is best to say in each situation. I can bite my tongue, but only for so long, and then I'll let them have the truth whether they like it or not. True, unless people have actually gone through something with health/life/etc. they really have little idea.

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    1. I have the knack of blowing off and being sorry and standing quiet when I should have blown off. I'm just not lucky or smart that way.

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  4. Seems to me the facility should be trying to adapt to best help your sister and perhaps provide her with a more skilled therapist. While I appreciate people need to learn their skills and become experienced with the aid and skills provided, there are always those "challenging" patients that perhaps should be dealt with by those with more experience in order for those "challenging" patients to reach their full potential.

    betty

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    1. I agree. I had planned to come this morning to chat with the PT. My sister asked me not to. She would bear with her. This is a big statement since her stroke. Her rational mind is getting much stronger.

      One problem is that they focus on winnowing out science students and then they wind up with people who are very smart but their social skills need something. I say this in humility because it was me at one time.

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  5. Your last sentence sums it up perfectly. Talk to her. If that doesn't work, go over the girl's head.
    Some parents would rather believe their children are perfect angels than hear the truth. Or acknowledge they themselves are the problem.

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    1. Some of the worst parents I dealt with were teachers. When it comes to your children, it is hard to be objective. But I have seen so many children limited by their parent's helicopter skills.

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  6. There is no education that replaces the lessons learned over the course of a lifetime. The therapist needs to learn that different strategies works with different patients just like you learned that as a teacher to students. Hopefully, she's professional enough though very young to listen to you.

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    1. I agree. I certainly dealt with many who didn't mind telling me what they thought.

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  7. Sometimes you have to tell it like it is. With tact. When I was younger, I forgot the tact.

    I hope PT helps your sister. And that the young therapist stops chiding her.

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    1. Tact certainly can ease a tough message. I've come to appreciate folks who tell it like it is. Of course they are playing with fire, my temper will flare first. lol

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  8. Sticky situation. There is no easy solution. I think communication is critical, but so is the way it is said. If one is too blunt, they risk not being heard because others may tune it out. However, to hold it in is not solving the real issue. I am not sure it is tact. I think it is respect and a bit of simple courtesy. No one wants to be yelled at or insulted, intelligence or otherwise. But, everyone wants to be respected. I try to treat others the way I want to be treated. Hugs.

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    1. I was pleased that my sister wanted to tough it out. Another physical therapist is stepping in which works out well for my sister. They have all that coursework learning to be a therapist. It seems a course in human interaction would be of benefit to loads of people in a multitude of professions. I had to learn by fire too which is painful.

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  9. Eviction was a constant worry for me when my grandma was in a care home. She could really be a stinker. I did remove her from a home once, though not because of how she acted, but how the caregiver responded. I believe the caregivers should all be trained well enough to handle the 'other' things that go along with caregiving - no matter what. I admire your tact. I'm afraid I take more after grandma than I realize sometimes;-) Hang in there, sweet Ann. You're amazing!

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