How would you feel if someone said this?

by Catherine

Well, I'd like to ask the question from the point of view of someone who would love to know what can I say that would help. Or at least show you that I care and I do want to help in some way.

In my job, I see parents having a bad day with their kids sometimes and I want to help but don't know how. I once said to a mom, "It's tough being a mom some days isn't it? Hang in there." And, I know I could have phrased that better somehow.

So, any suggestions would be great for me to know too. I want to help but I don't know what would be best.


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Aug 25, 2011
Thank you so much Catherine!
by: Diane

This is part one of my comment (part two is below, I couldn't fit it all in one comment lol)

Hi Catherine!

Thank you so much for your submission. It is wonderful to know that there are people out there that want to help. It so often seems that the only input we ever get is negative input. Dirty looks, saying mean things, etc.

I wish I had come across you in more than one of my own experiences! :)

It's a tough, touchy situation because there are such strong emotions involved.

The child is overwhelmed, the parent is overwhelmed, and even the person who wants to help can be emotional about it because of something in their past (their own experience with their own child, or having been snapped at when they offered help to someone in the past, or not being able to handle the "carrying on" of the child because they've had a very difficult day themselves, and so on).

Even your trying to help that mom with "It's tough being a mom some days isn't it? Hang in there." could be met with so many different reactions (but I'm not saying don't try because it's important and so needed by us that you and others always try, just thinking out loud about how many different ways that such an innocent and sincere comment could be received)...

--- A sad smile, a simple thank you, a grateful look from the mom who has weathered enough of her child's melt-downs that she's managed to get herself to the point where the melt-downs don't "melt her down" too terribly bad any more ---

--- A burst of tears from the mom who is overwhelmed, no support, exhausted, has been struggling with it for days, doesn't see any improvement on the horizon ---

--- An angry "what do you know about how tough it can be, do you deal with this every day, day in and day out" from the angry mom who is still mad at everyone and everything in the world because of her child's troubles ---

--- An angry "mind your own business" from the mom/dad who doesn't accept that their child has issues and instead sees their child as a trouble maker ---

--- Some other angry outburst directed at you simply because your sincere offer to help has put you in their radar (easier to take their anger out on a stranger than on the child) ---

Even when I'm out and about and I hear a mom or dad yelling at their child to be quiet or knock it off or quit misbehaving or you're always doing "this" or doing "that" or upsetting your sister/brother, etc., even I am at a loss as to what to do.

Ignore it? Try to offer words of encouragement? Gently smile at the parent? And so on...

I am afraid of being blasted just as I've seen others get blasted. But I really need to get past that fear and offer help. Both the parent and the child need it.

(Please see the rest of my comment below, I ran out of room here...)

Aug 25, 2011
Thank you so much Catherine!
by: Diane

Comment part two –

(I didn't have enough room to include my entire comment so I am continuing it here.) :)

As I'm typing this, I'm wondering if I were to ask my son, what can we do to try to help those people, would he be able to come up with suggestions. His perspective could be very valuable since he has Asperger's and is 17 (almost 18) and he champions for younger children. He may be able to suggest what might help to calm the child down. I don't know, just a thought.

Thank you again and I hope other parents and caregivers, and even Aspies/Aspergians themselves will submit suggestions here and that those who want to help when they see the need will find these pages to get some ideas on what to do to help.

An important thing to walk away with from this is that just because you get blasted by one parent/caregiver, please don't let that stop you from trying to help the next one.

As a wonderful and very insightful friend that I just met said to me, "Think how different the world would be if people just approached others in trying to understand, be supportive, and help rather than just get angry when they don't understand why someone is doing something. That's what I try to get across with my site To have patience and understanding for others as well as with yourself."

Have a wonderful day Catherine!

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