Thursday, 20 October 2011

Label: good or bad?

Labels are one of those things that cause disagreements. Is a label helpful or worthless, or at worst is it harmful? I personally feel a label is what you make it.
  I have never been opposed to labels, and neither did I go out to seek one. But eventually a label helped us as a wider family unit understand better how to address the various issues that were part of our day to day lives.
 A child with or without a label is not a single unit - they are part of a family. So for some, while the label has nothing much to offer the child in any tangible way, it may help the child's family understand how to better relate to the child, and how to help them on their journey. I see that as no bad thing. A happy and well informed family has a better chance of raising a happy child. A label does not have to be limiting. It is what you do with a label that counts.
 When our family was first presented with a possible label I felt something akin to relief, because finally I had something to go on. Finally I could maybe understand why certain things kept happening, why all the usual rules of child rearing didn't seem to work. In understanding maybe I could help. I thought that if I could understand the source of Lamb's behaviours then I could help him find a way through them. For me the label gave us some power to work towards change for the better.
 We use a label as a key to understanding, and nothing more. Outside of gaining knowledge the label doesn't enter into our lives, because this  is our normal.
 Like so many other things, it's not the label that is bad in and of itself, it is what you do with it.

1 comment:

debbiedas said...

Hi Ella -

Thanks for visiting my blog - so nice to meet like-minded mamas.

I hear what you are saying about labels and how they may hinder...how they may help. We have no diagnosis of our 5 year old...but like you, I wonder why the parenting strategies that I've read work so well, never work for my child. He is STRONG willed, determinant, obstinate. It's tough to navigate this and I have no idea WHY this is the case. My gut tells me that something else is going on. BUT...I am not ready for labels yet... :) Because he's not in school, there really is no issue - and I keep telling myself, "he's only five" but that excuse will only last so long. LOL. All I can do in this moment is love and honour and respect WHO he is. And that's...the easy part. Looking forward to getting to know you. xo