Lynda Drake appeared in an episode of the syndicated radio program America Tonight with Kate Delaney. She’s a stockbroker-turned-life coach who is also the author of a new book titled The Power of Imperfect Parents: Practical tools to parent your child with disabilities. The book draws upon her experience as the mother of three children, all with disabilities. However, besides simply providing a very handy resource, she also shares some of the toughest yet also most liberating life lessons about personal strength.
The Start of a Long Parenting Journey
Lynda’s children were born in the year 1986 and 1993. Not long after, she was given the bad news in the form of a very long list of labels for their many conditions. Among these include Down syndrome, ADD, autism, and dyslexia as well as several health complications, including life-threatening allergies and diabetes.
However, the upside is that such challenges are actually common among many families with special needs children. For Lynda, that gave her both the perspective and the confidence to believe that she could do it. After all, there have been many parents before her in the same situation, so there had to be plenty of answers to a number of challenges her family expected to face.
The Impact of Expectations (and Changing Them)
Even today, it is very understandable for parents to be devastated upon learning their child is likely to have disabilities. But at the same time, those expectations shouldn’t be an obstacle to still celebrating the child’s life and helping them make that life the best it can be.
Those are some of the big tips that Lynda starts with in her book The Power of Imperfect Parents. Aside from an extensive list of strategies and methods, she also encourages acceptance while understanding how hard it can be at the very beginning. It was the same for her, and it would be two years before she could finally confront herself and accept the need for help with raising her kids.
Still, such acceptance and changing expectations remain a huge part of parenting children with special needs. It’s the key to loving these kids as they are, followed by love for oneself despite all that’s happened.
On the side, it also gave her more perspective on the reality of parenting in general. The idea of perfecting it is impossible given the sheer number of choices, possibilities, and circumstances every parent has to face. The truly best thing to do is to just start from a place of love and learning to do better today than yesterday.
Lynda also doesn’t shy away from talking about the really tough, if not traumatic, situations she has been through in raising her kids. These included times when her son’s behavior would become dangerously violent, leading to calls to the police as well as the difficult decision to have him physically restrained until the behavior subsided.
Yet, even with such troubling experiences, they strived to keep a space of love in handling them. She had taught her daughters to keep on loving their brother even when he can’t bear to love himself. And ultimately, it has also taught them to become genuinely better people in the face of very tough scenarios.
Accepting Vulnerability, Accepting Help
Lastly, perhaps the most important lesson that Lynda has learned and now teaches through her book is the power of vulnerability.
Given the sheer weight of everyday challenges she faced, she had realized that she couldn’t possibly do it all herself. Before, she had believed that she could only be a strong mother to her children by not having to rely on others.
Yet through both her parenting journey and the journey of writing her book, she learned that true strength lies in vulnerability, in knowing when to ask for help and being willing to accept help.
Overall, it was an interview with a lot of wisdom being shared. Do check out the whole thing over at the ReadersMagnet YouTube Channel. The Power of Imperfect Parents: Practical tools to parent your child with disabilities is also available on Amazon andBarnes & Noble.