Our Discussions

How to Deal with Difficult Children
1 ( a pedar)

I'd like to know whether parents would join me to talk about educating themselves about topics American / Western parents are faced with: difficult children (who have autism, are clinically depressed, have developmental delay that includes symptoms such as speech difficulties, lack of eye contact, isolation and no fear of danger). As a witness in my family I see that these issue are totally ignored becuase the Iranian parent is too proud of herself and doesn't want to realize that something like this would happen to the kids. Unfortunately, it's the kids who suffer consequenses, because their parents are exasperated and their peers are teasing them. A lot of Iranian kids who reach adulthood haven't received any adequate help, because the Iranian parents don't see why they should go to the psychiatrist and talk about family problems. Such a child with disability will suffer tremendously becuase it's made a scapegoat in the family, possibly driven to suicide.I see that most Iranian parents don't care much about reading books on child psychiatry and parenthood as they do here in the West. Please comment.

2 ( a mother)

This issue is interesting not only for the sake of the children or, but what about the family, the marriage, the self? It seems that culturally, getting counseling is not an option. There seems to be a long tradition of just accepting things as they are--- what other options do people have if they can't get divorced (due to cultural taboo or fear of losing custody of children)? How do you convince someone who is against the idea of counseling that it is a good idea? The family-friend intervention technique seems like an interesting alternative IF you can find someone who is willing to stick their neck out for you.

This was in response to the guy who sent an email about observing a family who was denying that their child had a learning disability. He was concerned that the child would not get proper treatment because the family wasn't willing to consider counseling-- or to acknowledge that the child had a problem. In addition, the woman who wanted her husband to go to counseling but he was unwilling brought up the whole issue of how to convince someone that counseling would be helpful when the cultural tradition doesn't allow it(discussion under Marriage Problems...).

3 ( a mother)

I haven't seen any emails on this subject, but I do have some comments.

These are all very real problems that every parent faces. However, as an American myself, I must say don't blame Iranians too much. I myself have a sister who refuses to admit her son has a speech problem even though no one but herself can understand him at 7 years of age. She is teaching him at home to avoid having the public schools tell her that he has a problem; let's not get into just how destructive a coping mechanism that is! Also, don't assume all or even a majority of Americans read books on child rearing and psychology. Without doing thorough research to be sure, I would bet that about the same percentage of Americans do so as the percentage of concerned Iranian parents do.

Humans are the same across cultures and nationalities when it comes to dealing with ordinary human problems. Some face them head on; others hide behind pride, ignorance, whatever. I think realizing that we're all, American or Iranian, susceptible to these human weaknesses might help Iranians adjust to this society better and help them help their children grow up with a clear, unbiased view of both cultures.

4 ( a madar)

I just would like to thank this Madar for reminding everyone that we are all humans regardless of our nationalities

Also by sharing problems we might not only get help from others but help those who are in the same sitiation

Have a Magical Day

Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

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