Parents Who Are Not Supportive

Alex dropped me a line and soon we started having an email conversation. I learned she’s fluent in ASL. She’s not deaf nor does she have a relative that is. Not a teacher either. Anyway, I enjoyed getting to know her and she mentioned a person who wanted to use ASL, but her mother was not supportive of it. I’ve heard this story too many times — a parent who isn’t supportive of the child’s choice or doesn’t bother learning ASL.
I can’t imagine. Even if a parent disagrees with a choice (it isn’t like she’s doing illegal drugs, for goodness sakes!) — the parent should accept the child’s decision. Usually by the time a child has a preference, she’s not so little anymore.
By this time, the parent has what she can to raise the child her way. If the child chooses to go a different route, then there’s nothing you can do. Any effort is like leading a horse to water… the least the parent can do is build a decent relationship with the child.

1 comment

  1. I have seen again and again hearing parents who never learn to communicate *in any meaningful way* with their deaf children. It’s a sad thing when you see families that are separated by a communication barrier so great that there’s never any meaningful dialog. It’s even sadder when the parents want to actively ban a kid from learning another communication method. Signing isn’t for everyone, but it seems to me that parents should encourage kids (especially deaf ones) to use all methods and modes of communication to their advantage.

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