Saturday, July 17, 2010

Some mothers are the worst for stuttering kids

I have listened to StutterTalk's chat with well-adjusted mothers. But when I think of mothers, I think of many as being the biggest hurdle for stuttering kids. In my private one-to-one conversations with speech and language therapists, I hear them bitterly complaining about mothers. Of course, publicly they would never say such things. Not even or especially not at a conference. Has any therapist ever talked about the issues of mothers? No, everyone says "We need to embrace mothers as co-therapists. They know best what's good for their kids". Bullshit! Here are the most common complains:

1. Mother knows exactly what is best for their child, because she is the mother.

2. Mother complains bitterly about therapist to the director but does not even follow the daily practice.

3. Mother has a strong world view on how to treat kids like alternative medicine.

4. Mother over-rides the more rational approach of father because she as the mother knows intuitively what's right for her child.

5. Mother spends the whole session crying and talking about her bad husband, how she is left alone, and basically blaming her troubles on everyone else except herself.

6. Mother is totally hysterical and out of herself with anxiety and runs around to millions of different places for help.

7. Mother keeps on saying that she feels guilty even though everyone including the rational father tells her a million times that that's obviously not the case.

Any more?

As I always say, you need a qualification for everything in life except for having children. Luckily or else humanity would have gone extinct for a long time...


Anonymous said...

Tom -

Unbelief exudes from this reader!

In many ways you really reflect many of the beliefs of Wendell Johnson regarding mothers!

Here in America, FRIENDS was pretty much started by mothers of CWS turned professional slp's.

Saying that -

Your observations ah...shall we say...perhaps...ah...well (this is where one recognizes one can't really say what should be said).

(And instead says...) - Mothers of CWS have no issues!

Tom Weidig said...

I am not sure I completely follow you.

Just to clarify:

1) I am not saying that mothers cause children to start stuttering.

2) or prevent those who would recover with a good mother from natural recovery.

LH said...

"Any more?"

Yeah here are a couple more.

8. Mothers juggle about a hundred different committments and still I believe the majority manage to add being their child's therapist into the mix - not an easy task.

9. In the face of strong opposition from others (well-meaning friends and family) telling them that the child "will just grow out of it" they stick to their convictions and seek out help for their child.

Sounds like you've got some Freudian baggage going on there Tom. Also looks like you've discredited your own "science" blog with this unscientific rant about mothers.

Pam said...

I am going to the Friends conference in Chicago this week, where there will be many mothers getting out of the way of their children. These kids will spend three days feeling free to stutter openly, without fear or judgment. And their mothers will be watching and feeling so proud their children have found self-acceptance at a far earlier age than most people who stutter have.
These mothers (and fathers) will pay a lot of money to be sure their kids get this experience.
As an adult who stutters, I can only wish that I had had this experience when I was a child,not knowing how to deal with this and feeling very, very alone.

Einar said...

Interesting post, but why limit it to mothers? I think any other person in the daily life of a child can have an impact, be it positive or negative... Father, teacher, grandparents, siblings, neighbours... etc... Ok, mothers are definitely a very important factor, and focusing on their influence is important.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am speechless (no pun intended)! Sounds like you are simply venting and not proposing any solutions. Not very constructive in my point of view. It would have been nice to have your negative points balanced off with all the things we Mothers (and Fathers... yes, these children have fathers too) are willing to do to support our children through their journey. I love my son and will do everything I can to help him grow and give him the tools he needs. And no, I do not think I always know what's right. I will however advocate for him through thick and thin as there is a critical lack of available services in our area for S-PLs (Canada). We had to wait a year just to get our son assessed, and now 6 months for therapy. And my husband, by the way, advocates for our son as well - we are a team, even if I am the main person working with our therapist. Maybe speak directly with these families to get the full picture before going ahead and judging with only a small piece of the picture.
No hard feelings in Canada.

Tom Weidig said...


>> Sounds like you are simply venting and not proposing any solutions.

I am always amazed at why one needs to propose solutions in order to address open issues. Are you telling me that one should not talk and debate issues? That's ridiculous.

I am not saying that all mothers are causing trouble. But many are, according to SLTs I am talking to.

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

Those SLTs seem to lack in some vitally important professional skills.

Anonymous said...

Confirmation bias, anyone?

Anonymous said...

After attending FRIENDS Convention in Chicago, Observations re: professionals ---- CONFIRMED.