[nobe-l] New THOUGHT PROVOKER #147- Don't Look

Robert Newman newmanrl at cox.net
Mon Jun 29 09:17:46 UTC 2009

Educators Members
RE:  Don't Look 

I bet in your profession that there will be times you will run across a
parent-student relationship that will have the dynamic of the adult being
over protective. What advice or tactic works to make this a healthy thing?
If you have not read the PROVOKER, it follows.  Recall that I collect
responses and post them upon my web site for all the WWW to read and learn
from and that URL is- Http://thoughtprovoker.info
<http://thoughtprovoker.info/>   If you wish to receive THOUGHT PROVOKERS
sent directly to you, just write me and ask, at-  newmanrl at cox.net 

Don't Look

 "Ohhh." a faint cry of concern squeezed out from where Meagan pressed the
back of her hand against her mouth. Sitting at the kitchen table, she
watched her ten year old blind daughter, Carrie standing at the stove with
her Rehabilitation Teacher, learning to fry her first pancake. Meagan
couldn't stand it, her remaining hand flew up to cover her eyes (one bright
green pupil peeking through parted fingers). 

 "I think it's ready to turn over --- it slides when I touch it with the
spatula." Carrie's tone suggesting both self-talk and an open question to
the adult at her side.

Pam responded with a question. "What do you think? How might you tell?"

"Well, it's all one piece and --- when I put the spatula just a little under
it, it has that special feel of not bending --- if I can catch up with it
again." The sounds of a spatula tapping and scraping sounded as the young
cook worked to flip the cake over, before it burned.

"You're doing great." Pam's calming voice was intended for both Carrie and
Meagan. She wasn't worried about her student. However in working with this
family, it hadn't taken long to recognize the over protectiveness of the
mother. And from the get-go, she had encouraged Meagan to be an observer of
all lessons; though she hadn't yet noticed any major revelation on Meagan's
part that blindness in and of itself wasn't a major handicapping feature to
Carrie's abilities. 

Meagan, still tense, sat as quietly as she could. It always took an effort
to not step in and help her daughter; watching Carrie searching for things
or hesitating or fumbling with something new always pulled Meagan's
heartstrings. Having Pam come in once a week to work with Carrie had been a
solution to a problem that Meagan hadn't thought could be answered, until
she had joined a parents group and learned that there were professionals who
could teach independent living skills.

Later, cooking and follow-up cleaning successfully completed, teacher gone,
the exultant Carrie was in her room looking for an outfit that she would
wear the next day for a special outing. "Oh fudge buckets --- where did that
new top go?" She hurriedly fingered one hanging garment after another,
sliding them sharply to the side, reaching for the next.

"Darling, here, let me help you." Meagan stood behind her daughter, reaching
out. "Is it the fuzzy purple with the square buttons, that you want?"

"Mom, please. I can find it." 

"Oh I know, darling. I'll just be faster." 

"Mom! Pam wants me to practice more, doing stuff for myself. Okay." 

"Oh --- you're right. I'll go and start supper. So if you need me, yell."
Meagan walked out of the room, making a show of leaving. However, she
silently paused, aligning one eye to peek around the corner of the open

The next day- "Meagan, hi, coming in?" Said the woman walking up to where
Meagan stood waiting and watching at the corner of a lighted, moderately
busy intersection. Melinda and Meagan were both members of a local chapter
of Parents of blind children. The parents had agreed to wait for their
children in side a coffee shop across the street from where the kids were to
be dropped off. The idea being, the students would de-bus, cross the street,
find the shop, come in and find their parent.

"Oh --- I'll be in before they get to the shop --- I just worry --- oh, it's
silly." Meagan knew her answer hadn't come across well; it hadn't even made
her, feel better.

"Meagan," said Melinda, lightly touching her friend's arm. "The kids will be
fine. They've had training. These outings are to give them experience and as
they work to learn and perfect their blindness skills, they will struggle.
It's how all of us learn." Pausing, reflecting, Melinda finished with,
"Meagan, may I share with you the best piece of advice I have ever been

Seeing the acceptance, the need in Meagan's eyes, Melinda said, "It was ---
don't look."

Robert Leslie Newman 
Email- newmanrl at cox.net

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