Monday, June 06, 2005

The responsibilities of being a Jewish blogger, part 2: Think before you write--On blogging as the parent of a child with disabilities

I’ve been on both sides.

When my son was younger and struggling with delayed emotional maturation, delayed social-skills development, and delayed academic learning, I had to put up with people who bragged about their kids’ wonderful behavior and academic achievements.

On the other hand, I know that many of the students in my son’s special-education school were in the vocational or sheltered-workshop tracks, rather than in the college-preparatory track.

So when I was in the mood to brag about my son on my blog, I found myself in a very interesting position: After writing a terrific post, I checked it for spelling, grammar, word-usage, and content, as usual—and deleted the entire first paragraph before I’d even pasted it into the “create post” window.

Did I really want to post something that “show-off-y” on a blog that would be read by other parents of children with disabilities? Would I be making a difficult situation even more so by bragging so much? I know how I felt when people did that to me. Why would I want to put anyone else through that?

It’s natural for people to brag about their kids. But please, folks, brag judiciously. Take into consideration the fact that not everyone’s kid is fortunate, and that their parents don’t need to be reminded of what they already know all too well.


Blogger Talmida said...

I think balance is required. If your readers hear all the difficult and challenging things about your parenting experience, don't you think you owe it to them to share the joys as well? Otherwise you're only showing one side of the story.

I don't think it makes a difficult situation worse, I think it gives hope.


Tue Jun 07, 10:28:00 AM 2005  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Talmida, I must admit that I never thought of it quite that way. I guess it's a matter of striking a reasonable balance between being considerate of those going through tough times, on the one hand, and enjoying--and showing that there are also--the good times, on the other hand.

Wed Jun 08, 09:43:00 PM 2005  

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