opening a fortune cookie wrapper….

i watch as zach struggles to open a fortune cookie wrapper. he is biting the plastic, trying to pop the air out of the bag, anything to get this wrapper open. it breaks my heart but i let him struggle.

my question is…should we always jump in and fix everything for our kids or do we let them struggle a little bit?  in the age of every child gets a trophy for participation and the helicopter parent, are we really helping our children get ready for the “real” world by always “fixing” everything for them?

we often forget that struggling and failing is as important as success. disability or not, our children are going to encounter many hardships in their life. i think about zach and his future. we don’t know how his cmt is going to progress. is he going to be in a wheelchair one day? is he going to completely lose the use of his hands? we just don’t know. that scares the heck out of me. there are some days that these thoughts overwhelm me.

as i sit here and watch him struggle to open his fortune cookie, i know there will be much tougher things coming his way.  i let him struggle and he figures out a way to get it opened.  as much as it kills me not to just grab the cookie and open it for him, i know i am doing the right thing.






One thought on “opening a fortune cookie wrapper….

  1. You are doing the right thing. I have a form of MD. Getting dressed is a challenge for me. I have trouble with buttons, zippers, putting on shirts or t-shirts, etc. My hand muscles are very weak. Cutting my food is impossible; opening bottles is off my list of “can do;” opening doors with twist handles is very difficult (sometimes I get stuck in public restrooms because of the handles); etc. Still, I prefer to try to do things myself. If I find I cannot do it, I will ask for help. In this way, I am using my muscles – which is giving them a chance to work, and I am keeping a sense of independence – which is crucial to the human psyche.

    I applaude your son’s willingness to try difficult tasks. His attitude will be of great importance to him when he has to face life without you there to help him.


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