A couple days ago Chad's social worker came over for us to complete his plan for this next year. As we finished we also discussed our adult daughter and how things are going for her. She has a team of providers and e-mails are sent to all on a fairly regular basis when there is a problem that needs our attention. She said with a sly grin that she loved how blunt I was and said she sits there reading it saying, "Go Paula Go." I took it as a compliment and that it makes her job easier when we, as guardians, just state the facts and what our thoughts/decisions are. It's the power of guardianship. We get to make the decisions and generally others have to carry them out. We have that power for three adult children, including Robby who was our foster son for 14 years.
I was contemplating on whether my bluntness is a good or bad thing and why it is that I've become more curt, particularly as the years go by. I decided it's partly because I am experienced and feel pretty secure in my decision making when it's necessary and involves my kids. I also decided it's due to the number of people we make decisions for and the number of people they have involved in their lives that have to receive and carry out those decisions. They have many professionals and others involved in every aspect of their lives. There are seven completely dependent people in our lives and one who is on her way to making some of her own decisions, which is a whole other type of training. I figure there are close to 50 some professional types who ask us to make decisions regarding their care, work, living arrangements, money, future funeral arrangements - made those decisions for Robby last year, medical care decisions etc. Being blunt is simply a time saver. Making small talk takes time.
For awhile Callie had a physical therapist who was freaked out by her impulsivity and was determined that she should wear a helmet. The kid was like a bat - she never bumped into anything. She might step on kids that were sitting on the floor in her way - they might have needed helmets - but she was fine. She worried about table corners etc. My philosophy was if they had sharp corners in a special ed. room I'm not thinking that's my problem - put protectors on the table corners then. My other thought was, the kid already stands out in a crowd and we're trying to help her meld, just how weird do you want to make her look?
When Chad was in his early teens we had someone on his team suggest he needed more age appropriate toys to play with - he liked and still likes - his super heroes. My reaction was, "Really? I know a guy with an entire basement devoted to his toy train hobby. He's a pilot. I'm thinking Chad is just fine with his super heroes." The general rule is they stay at home or in the car, just like the pilot, know the time and the place to let your inner child out.
There are people in my life that I am gentler with. I know they need that care and attention and I'm happy to give it. When it comes to those who are in that "professional" realm, I tend to be the bluntest. Personally I appreciate knowing where people are coming from and I'm really good with straight forward. It makes it easier for me to be decisive, which I'm thinking helps everyone. I don't want to hurt people's feelings, but that being said, my emotional energy is pretty spent with the people I'm responsible for here at home and those in our immediate family. So for anyone who's been on the receiving end of my bluntness I won't apologize, because it's how I cope and my "work" style, shall we say. Just know it's really nothing personal. I may just be in a hurry and trying to save both of us some time.