Day 38: Partnership

clegg sculpture 014I have been reflecting, today, on the judgements I make about when and how to get involved in Dylan’s care. This week, for example, I have had a small niggle about something. It is only a teeny weeny niggle, however, and I am trying not to let it get the better of me; as it is a one-off situation it would be unreasonable, I tell myself, to make a fuss.

I am increasingly convinced that one of the things which is crucial to transition (and presumably to the quality of continuing care) is the partnership between the person in care, the care home, and the parents. It occurred to me today, however, that an effective partnership may sometimes require a parent not to participate, i.e. to trust the job of caring to the care home rather than expecting to be involved in every detail.

And then I realised the reason my ‘teeny weeny’ niggle doesn’t warrant action is not that it is an isolated incident but that it is, essentially, a question of approach. As the saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat and whether this cat is skinned my way or another actually has no bearing on Dylan’s well-being; I was simply niggled that something was being done differently.

During the last ten years I have grown accustomed to getting my own way. Supporting children on your own can be challenging, particularly when disability is involved, and I have come to regard not having to compromise with a partner as my reward for the tough times. I can see, however, that this may mean I’m rusty at the art of compromise. I wonder if it’s easier to build a partnership with others if you are used to having to negotiate with a partner in the home?

3 thoughts on “Day 38: Partnership

  1. As always your post has given me food for thought. I wonder whether how you compromise in one situation affects how you do it in another. In an ideal world we would practise and perfect the art of compromise, possibly through having siblings or a partner, and then would use that skill elsewhere. More realistically I suspect that if I feel I have lost out in one negotiation I try to claw back in another. I wonder if that transfers between settings. If I have given in on a semi-important issue at home do I then try to restore some balance by being tough at work? I have no idea, just musing. I know the art of successful compromise is a life skill I am still developing! Having siblings and a long-term partner doesn’t seem to have made me very good at it.

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    • That is so interesting, Pennie. I have also wondered how our ability to compromise in one context may or may not affect our ability to do so in another. If I am used to having my own way at home, does that mean I will also expect to get it at work or, conversely, that I will be so fed up of getting my own way that I will enjoy giving it away? Or do we barter it incident-by-incident through the ‘claw-back’ you describe? I also have no idea. My mother was an only child and I used to think her the Queen of Compromise. It always puzzled me a little. Is it possible that the one thing you don’t learn from siblings is how to compromise? Maybe. I certainly didn’t learn it from mine 🙂 Fascinating stuff. It’s not a skill I particularly expected to develop in the context of D’s move to care but I regard it as welcome opportunity!

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  2. Pingback: Day 39: Illuminating Self | Living with/out Autism

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