February 26, 2014 § 4 Comments

Over the years my husband and I have gotten very good at managing stress and have a pretty healthy, pretty happy marriage.

I know one thing that has helped for us is a sort of division of labor – we both have our jobs. One of my major jobs in handling our daughters health care which is involved, as well as, her educational needs. In the beginning my husband would attend all the meeting and appointments but as our lives have grown busier I do it all alone. I’m not complaining – he handles other stuff alone. It’s just how it is.

When issues ramp up I miss his presence at team meetings and doctors appointments . It’s sometimes hard to process all that information alone and even harder to try to relay it all back to him.

As an educator who spends a lot of time sitting in IEP meetings I see mostly moms who show up and it’s mostly moms who do the talking. I will also tell you when a dad shows up and does the talking the energy in the meeting shifts somehow. Maybe it a male presence? Maybe we subconsciously think he’s more likely to be less emotional? Maybe it is because this student now has two people there advocating for them instead of one? Either way the presence of a dad at a meeting carries a lot of weight.

I urge parents to attend meetings and appointments together as much as possible. It’s hard in this day in age to schedule these things but showing that your child has the full support of the family behind them is so powerful.

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§ 4 Responses to Dads

  • Olive davis says:

    15 years experience. Dad’s at ISPs meeting make a huge difference. Strength is in numbers is a few true statement. We share different roles as well but we both attend those meetings. I usually look after all the medical/school/paper work. He works. I am a stay at home mom. We both attend any meetings together if possible. Usually both of us attend hospital appointments as well. 23 years married yesterday. We have both been stretched pretty thin but still plugging at it. It seems we are always struggling with something but always manage to get through it together and on the same side. :). When I reflect back over the years and think of what we had overcome I am proud of what we did …pretty much alone and in a world that has not been very educated or accomadating for those who have challenges in any way.

  • Successful Exceptional Education (SEE) says:

    Reblogged this on successful exceptional education.

  • Dawn says:

    I think you are completely right about the energy changing. My husband attends all of our son’s IEP meetings. Since I am the one responsible for the day to day interactions with my son’s school and team, I feel I need to play nice to maintain a friendly relationship with those who work with him. My husband can afford to be the “bad cop” and ask the direct questions and be more forceful about our concerns. I think whether it is your spouse or an advocate or a knowledgeable friend, having another person sitting on your side of the table to think about your child’s needs based on what you see at home makes an enormous difference.

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