Que sera sera? The future’s not ours to see…. So what can we do to plan for the future?
A few recent conversations have prompted me to think more about preparing, and putting things in place now for our future or for those we love.
Though we know that our lives and times are in the hands of our Creator, and our ultimate trust is there, we also are responsible here in this world, in this dunya, to provide and care.
One thing that has recently kept coming into focus for me, is how, in one of our very first All Children Included parent meetings way back in 2013, several parents shared their heart cries, their deep anxiety:
How can we prepare our children for adulthood, when they have challenges that will always make it hard for them to be really independent?
What schools or training can we give them to help them and us to prepare?
As each generation of children with additional needs comes through from early years to primary, and then meets the huge transition to secondary, this becomes desperately urgent.
It isn’t even just what education their child needs and can get. There are so many hidden unexpressed things linked with this time.
The troublesome teens (much harder than the terrible two’s!) and all the usual adolescent dramas are made all the harder by the very explicit dangers online for young people, which parents need to find a way to navigate with their children.
However, the underlying fears and concerns about the future are by far the biggest, even for those who are fortunate enough to be financially quite secure.
These are much bigger than worrying about what education system is best, or the behaviour management of their child.
Questions such as -
What does the future hold for our child?
How can we prepare?
When we are no longer here to help, what will be the situation for him or her?
It isn’t fair for the sister or brother to have to take this responsibility – how can we make it easier for them?
There’s no one who can take on the care of my child. What will become of him / her?
What about finances to support my child when I am not earning any longer?
…thinking about how to prepare becomes nightmarish.
I feel the urgency of supporting our young people of Determination in their programme of learning, whether it be preparing for work skills, or for just being independent in living and looking after themselves.
And just as much, the need for having a forum for parents in which we can discuss and problem solve together.
I met a very interesting person the other day, who is involved in a project here in Dubai, a ‘village’ with the potential for young people to do just that – and learn to keep themselves independently in their own homes, with some supervision. How exciting! But as with everything, it is a costly project, and not many families would be able to afford this for more than a short period.
I will be glad to have your perspectives on how we can help families who are facing the challenge of planning and preparing their children for adult life. If you are one of those parents, how can we help you?
Every child and family is unique, and faces these challenges in various ways.
BUT - You are not alone.
There are people with many different training and backgrounds I know, who understand, can listen, and chat through your options, perhaps suggest ones you had not thought of.
And perhaps even start creating or exploring new ones if nothing else fits!
If you are interested in being in a private circle to discuss issues like this - let me know. It is something I and others have been considering for a while, for this and other aspects of being a parent of a Child of Determination.
I believe you as the parent have even more determination than your child!
Be in touch –
P.S.: The volunteer group I help run, All Children Included has celebrated another year, with an online Annual general Meeting that was the best ever! Here is a video capturing highlights from the summer programmes that was made by the wonderful University students who have been involved with supporting ACI!