Thanks again, everyone.
At the outset, I should mention that I find it very heartening that we all are 
operating on the premise that this is a genuine problem for which solutions 
have to be found. One of the worst responses in my view in such a situation 
would be to state that what one's parents are saying is perfectly normal and to 
sermonize about the importance of obeying one's parents. So I am glad we have 
at least gone past that level.

Second, to address Turab's point, while being educated certainly helps, it is 
not always an antidote to this problem. The parent that we are talking about 
here is very well educated and has a respectable position in society.

Third, I agree that normal concerns and questions are justified, and it is 
incumbent upon the disabled person to address them as best they can. As 
mentioned earlier, this is not a normal situation on account of the reasons I 
have outlined in my previous mails. This is a situation where the disabled 
person is almost 25 years old and is willing to share with  their parent all 
the information needed by the latter to feel secure. When asked to outline the 
concerns that the parent has about independent travel, the parent says that he 
is not answerable to the child and refuses to talk. 

Fourth, some people, like Kriti, were of the view that one should convince one 
parent or family member who, in turn, can convince the other. That sounds great 
in theory, but in Indian families, existing power structures prevent this from 
happening. The parent here is a father who has an inflated ego. In no 
circumstance can he be convinced by his wife with whom he has a patchy 
relationship in any case.

Finally, the approach outlined by Shireen, I feel, remains the only solution. 
One should never give in to blackmail and do what one likes, irrespective of 
the repercussions. In fact, while planning for the repercussions. The only 
problem there is, as I mentioned in my first mail, the outside world is often 
too hesitant to interfere in such matters and take sides for many reasons. Sans 
such support, independently executing such plans becomes difficult. But 
convincing them is easier than convincing such a parent, I guess.

Best,
Rahul 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 7, 2017, at 8:56 AM, turab chimthanawala via Ai 
> <ai@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in> wrote:
> 
> Hi Rahul
> Thanks for starting a discussion on a topic having a great bearing on
> a VI's career in particular and life in general. Already a lot has
> been said and I would only add my personal experiences. Being
> fortunate to have a doctor mother, her education on the subject and
> vast exposure has played a crucial role in me forging a reasonably
> successful academic career that to in integrated settings throughout.
> From being able to precisely understand my specific disability to
> ensuring connect with the best medical and other aid around, I have
> been very fortunate to have her. When it comes to independence say in
> travel or residing at another location, she has been quite open only
> concerning about physical safety.
> Now when I look at many other VIs in Nagpur, the lack of exposure and
> education of their parents greatly hampers their development being
> subject to either over protection or being totally neglected sometimes
> even being held responsible for their own disability.
> Also as some have pointed out, independent living over the last five
> months has greatly boosted my confidence and does go long way in
> giving a leveraging position vis a vis our family.
> Best
> Turab
> 
>> On 8/5/17, Kriti Banga via Ai <ai@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in> wrote:
>> Dear Rahul,
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> I really thank you for bringing up this topic, as really few members from
>> the VI community feel comfortable talking about such subjects on a public
>> foram.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Though I agree with all the opinions given by everyone here, I would also
>> like to mention that it is not really easy to maintain a balance between
>> what a visually impaired son/daughter wants to do, and at the same time not
>> affecting their relation with their parents. Realistically speaking, any
>> discussion about such topics at home will definitely result in tiffs on
>> various issues. Which can be emotionally very taxing for the VI person
>> himself. Ideally there is no particular way of balancing this kind of a
>> situation. It is either one takes a stand for his life, or stay calm until
>> parents are convinced (Depends on an individuals capacity).
>> 
>> The definite reason is just like everyone has mentioned is
>> over-protectiveness of the parents towards the child. No seminars, no
>> organizations, can really help them unless and until a very close family
>> member whom our parents trust a lot, can make them understand. Because what
>> happens is that in such situations the child has no say at all, as their
>> parents have been taking decisions for them till now. So if one day the
>> child starts demanding that ‘I want to be independent’, ‘ I want to decide
>> for myself’, ‘I want to start travelling alone’, ‘I want to mary the
>> partner of my choice, (in case of a VI wanting to get married to another
>> VI’, The parents wont accept that, and the result will just be an emotional
>> pressure from their end. I have nothing against the parents to say, because
>> they definitely have every right over their child, but then when the child
>> grows up, they too definitely need to understand that if they can allow
>> their sighted offspring to lead an independent life, then why can’t they
>> support their disabled offspring to lead a normal life?
>> 
>> There is no replacement for our parents in this world, there can never be.
>> But what after them? Can any single person do 1 percent of what they are
>> doing for us?
>> 
>> I know, everyone has written the same points here. I even can’t say if
>> there is any appropriate solution to the discussion which probably means a
>> lot to us. But I just can say one thing, that there should be some sessions
>> conducted for all our parents, and also of course by the parents, to make
>> them understand the difference between being a security for their child,
>> and being over-protective for them. Resisting a child’s point of views may
>> only result in more and more differences. Either involve a third party, who
>> is very close to the parents and also to the child, who can make them
>> understand without affecting any relationships.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Thanks and Regards,
>> 
>> Kriti Banga
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Sat, Aug 5, 2017 at 12:53 PM, Shireen Irani via Ai <
>> ai@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in> wrote:
>> 
>>> hi Rahul,
>>> 
>>> most of what i wish to say has been said already, but I'd like to
>>> reiterate a couple of things that i think are imperative, regardless
>>> of the temporary discomfort they may cause in the relationship.
>>> 
>>> as an adult, whether disabled or not, 1 needs to put one's foot down,
>>> and have the free will to decide one's own actions with total
>>> responsibility for them. parents often find that difficult to accept,
>>> partly for control, and partly because of their fear of being  of no
>>> need to the child any more. so if there's no room for a calm
>>> conversation, one can make one's decisions and break it to them
>>> immediately before, or after you start executing it. even the language
>>> you use needs to be assertive and firm,  reassuring them that you do
>>> love and respect them, but  these are a few things that you will not
>>> allow them to control, because  they are now yours to take charge of.
>>> this is also when you  ask them: what they think you will do, once
>>> they're not around any more to protect you from the big bad world. we
>>> know of countless stories of parents who threaten to harm themselves
>>> in cases of their children marrying against the parents wishes, but
>>> after a few months it all defuses and the family is 1 again. so
>>> particularly with emotional blackmail, I know it sounds unpleasant,
>>> but it is best to assert, that you will not be deterred by any  such
>>> threats.
>>> the way to balance things out could be to show them that you'd love
>>> their intervention in certain areas, but not in a few others.
>>> 
>>> also, it really does help even if in tiny ways, for them to see other
>>> blind people moving around more independently. so wherever possible,
>>> do invite a friend over, introduce them to your parents, and then
>>> perhaps spontaneously decide to venture out on your own, the 2 of you,
>>> without opportunity for any further discussion on the matter.
>>> finally, I think financial independence, and your ability to manage
>>> your own finances without their help, and also contributing towards
>>> the running of the house, usually goes a long way as a sign of your
>>> independent adulthood. if you can politely deny any1 else's help/
>>> control in financial matters, and then prove your efficiency with wise
>>> money management, then it becomes    relatively easier to assert your
>>> independence  in other areas.
>>> of course your own confidence and ability is paramount before you take
>>> such steps.
>>> 
>>> what I'd emphasise the most in all this is, do not give in to
>>> emotional blackmail!! just do not.
>>> prepare yourself for some temporary strain, and look forward to a
>>> healthier and more meaningful future with your family.
>>> 
>>> best,
>>> 
>>> Shireen.
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On 8/5/17, Rahul Bajaj via Ai <ai@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in> wrote:
>>>> Thanks, Alok. I agree that the anxiety and fear of the parent here is
>>>> divorced from the actual capabilities of the disabled person.
>>>> Such blind resistance to accepting the proposition that  the blind
>>>> person has to be given space to grow and make their own mistakes is
>>>> what creates an
>>>> impasse.
>>>> If a blind adult is told that they will always need an escort, but the
>>>> only difference will be that the escort will be their wife instead of
>>>> their mother
>>>> in future, that reflects the parent's absolute failure to understand
>>>> the other person's perspective.
>>>> 
>>>> I think the suggestions that you have offered are very helpful.
>>>> However, they nonetheless presuppose that the parent is willing to
>>>> engage in a calm conversation
>>>> with a semi open mind. The fundamental problem here is that that also
>>>> is not true most of the time.
>>>> The disabled person is told that the parent will start stepping back
>>>> when the disabled person acquires the requisite independence. When
>>>> asked to outline
>>>> the criteria based on which the parent will be able to say that the
>>>> child has reached that level, the parent becomes confrontational and
>>>> states that the
>>>> disabled person has not seen the darker side of the world yet.
>>>> 
>>>> Best,
>>>> Rahul
>>>> 
>>>>> On 05/08/2017, Alok Kaushik <alok.li...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> Hi Rahul,
>>>>> What you have mentioned suggests that the  fundamental issue is  not
>>>>> about
>>>>> the capabilities of the visually impaired person and parent's comfort
>>>>> level
>>>>> with it but a limitation that the parent himself / herself  is facing
>>>>> in
>>>>> terms  of handling the situation if  something goes wrong. He / she
>>> has  a
>>>>> fixed  idea that he / she is responsible for  the  VI person, and
>>>>> hence
>>>>> has  to take decisions.
>>>>> 
>>>>> This is a  more  difficult scenario to deal  with because it is not
>>> about
>>>>> VI
>>>>> person's but  their notions of  their own limitations and
>>>>> responsibilities.
>>>>> In such a case while  demonstrating your capabilities is  important,
>>>>> it
>>> is
>>>>> equally important to relieve them of  the burden of  that  sense of
>>>>> responsibility and limitation. This would  especially be  relevant in
>>> case
>>>>> of single parents, and  also  in  scenarios  in which parents consider
>>>>> themselves to be socially answerable if anything goes wrong.
>>>>> 
>>>>> It would be important to make  them  understand that their  support
>>> would
>>>>> not  be everlasting, and  their help  is needed to make oneself
>>>>> independent,
>>>>> if they really want him / her to live well. They can  better help
>>> adapt,
>>>>> practice, and achieve  a  high level of comfort while they can still
>>>>> support
>>>>> . One saying  that I often use to  quote is "You give your  son a
>>>>> fish,
>>>>> he
>>>>> eats today. You teach him how to fish, he eats every day.".
>>>>> 
>>>>> I  have also seen some parents say that you can do whatever you want
>>> after
>>>>> us but not  while we are still around. This again reflects that the
>>> focus
>>>>> of
>>>>> their thinking is not really the limitations of the visually impaired
>>>>> person
>>>>> but their own limitations.
>>>>> 
>>>>> One may have to  make  the parents realize they have a  support system
>>> to
>>>>> handle any situation. And  also,  it needs to come out in one's
>>>>> communication that he / she is now prepared to take on the
>>>>> responsibilities
>>>>> of his / her actions.
>>>>> 
>>>>> I  would like  to reiterate that patience is  still the  key. If  one
>>>>> really intends to  be  independent, it would eventually happen. In
>>>>> fact
>>>>> at
>>>>> some point being independent would  be a requirement whether one wants
>>> to
>>>>> or
>>>>> not.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Thanks.
>>>>> Alok
>>>>> 
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: Rahul Bajaj [mailto:rahul.bajaj10...@gmail.com]
>>>>> Sent: Friday, August 04, 2017 9:16 PM
>>>>> To: Share, empower &Enrich
>>>>> Cc: Alok Kaushik
>>>>> Subject: Re: [Ai] Question about dealing with parents having a
>>> regressive
>>>>> view about the capabilities of the disabled
>>>>> 
>>>>> Thank you, everyone. Your responses are very insightful and
>>>>> informative.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Alok, I agree with you that one has to strive to avoid either of those
>>>>> extremes. However, all these suggestions operate on the premise that
>>>>> the
>>>>> parent in question is reasonable and willing to change their views
>>>>> based
>>>>> on
>>>>> changing circumstances. I am afraid that is not always the case. Some
>>>>> parents cannot be reasoned with and offer you a choice between not
>>>>> doing
>>>>> something and doing it as per their own unreasonable terms. What
>>>>> choice
>>> is
>>>>> one left with in such cases?
>>>>> Further, while the incremental approach works best, that cannot
>>>>> address
>>> a
>>>>> parent's unfounded fear that something horrible will happen.
>>>>> Finally, if a parent is blackmailing a child into not doing something
>>>>> or
>>>>> doing it in a very different way from what the child wants without
>>>>> even
>>>>> articulating genuine safety concerns that make them wary, what should
>>> one
>>>>> do?
>>>>> 
>>>>> Best,
>>>>> Rahul
>>>>> 
>>>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Aug 4, 2017, at 2:36 PM, Alok Kaushik via Ai
>>>>>> <ai@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Hi Rahul,
>>>>>> You have  brought  up a very relevant subject. Although I always had
>>>>>> a
>>>>>> very understanding family, I  also had  to experience  a  phase  in
>>>>>> which
>>>>>> the family members had to  be  brought  to a certain comfort level. I
>>>>>> never faced any restrictions but additional comfort level had to be
>>>>>> developed, and I can easily observe the change in level of  comfort
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> confidence they now have.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Besides that I have also seen several cases around me, in which
>>>>>> similar
>>>>>> issues as  mentioned  by you were present. Here are my observations
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> thoughts.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I do not think that  any organization or friend will  be able to make
>>>>>> a
>>>>>> decisive impact on the  thinking of  parents / family members just by
>>>>>> telling them about some of the other people who have been able to do
>>> much
>>>>>> more. It largely depends on how much  drive the visually impaired
>>> person
>>>>>> himself / herself has to  become independent, and how effectively
>>>>>> that
>>> is
>>>>>> expressed.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> One  of  the main reasons of the parents is the safety concern. One
>>>>>> still
>>>>>> needs to take a decision to go ahead and do things but  taking some
>>>>>> measures could help understand the parents that he / she is not
>>> reckless
>>>>>> about the safety. For example, one can  share the taxi number while
>>>>>> travelling outside at home, it communicates the same message, while
>>> being
>>>>>> an actual safety measure. Letting the family members know when to
>>> expect
>>>>>> you back home realistically would provide them extra comfort. These
>>>>>> actions are simply related to information sharing and do  not
>>> necessarily
>>>>>> restricts oneself. This goes a long way in  developing a comfort
>>>>>> level
>>>>>> without creating any friction in the relationship.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Besides moving outdoors,  if  there are other things that one is
>>> looking
>>>>>> to do but is facing restrictive approach, comfort level can best be
>>>>>> created by generating opportunities to demonstrate that one  would
>>>>>> be
>>>>>> happy doing such a task  and  can do it. Communicating that he / she
>>>>>> would
>>>>>> definitely ask for  help if  needed is  also very effective. There
>>>>>> is
>>>>>> no
>>>>>> better conviction then actually seeing a person doing something.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> A few  things that we need  to keep in mind is that we ourselves need
>>> to
>>>>>> be patient while persisting with the  effort to demonstrate and
>>>>>> develop
>>>>>> and  confidence  in others. It will  take  some time  and  repeated
>>>>>> observations by others before their  scepticism could change to
>>>>>> conviction.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> It is possible that one may have to be more  assertive at times, but
>>>>>> it
>>>>>> would be good to balance it out rather quickly to avoid any negative
>>>>>> effect on the relationship. Underlying feeling behind the
>>>>>> assertiveness
>>>>>> needs to be that of confidence and not disregard.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Of course  there would  be two extremes, one in which a person
>>>>>> chooses
>>>>>> to
>>>>>> enjoy the convenience that a protective environment offers,  which
>>> comes
>>>>>> back  and bites hard  once that supportive environment collapses or
>>>>>> dents,
>>>>>> or in other  in which a person becomes a rebel, gains the
>>>>>> independence
>>>>>> and
>>>>>> the relationships languishes.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> My thoughts are to bring about a change while sustaining good
>>>>>> relationships.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Thanks.
>>>>>> Alok
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: Ai [mailto:ai-boun...@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in] On
>>>>>> Behalf
>>>>>> Of Rahul Bajaj via Ai
>>>>>> Sent: Friday, August 04, 2017 1:12 PM
>>>>>> To: ai@accessindia.inclusivehabitat.in
>>>>>> Cc: Rahul Bajaj
>>>>>> Subject: [Ai] Question about dealing with parents having a regressive
>>>>>> view about the capabilities of the disabled
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Hi Everyone,
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I hope this message finds you well.
>>>>>> At the outset, let me clarify that this question may or may not have
>>>>>> anything to do with my own personal experiences, so I'd appreciate it
>>> if
>>>>>> the aim of the conversation could be to understand this phenomenon in
>>>>>> general terms as opposed to focusing too much on my own situation.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> While a lot of us focus on the importance of sensitizing various
>>>>>> stakeholders, such as employers, academic institutions and others
>>>>>> about
>>>>>> the capabilities of the disabled, few focus on the discrimination
>>>>>> that
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> disabled face in their own homes due to the view that their own
>>>>>> family
>>>>>> has
>>>>>> about their capabilities or potential.
>>>>>> More specifically, if one has a parent who is unwilling to learn from
>>> the
>>>>>> experiences of other blind people and give their disabled child the
>>>>>> freedom that we all deserve, to what extent should one follow what
>>> such a
>>>>>> parent says?
>>>>>> Further, while safety is doubtless important, if the disabled person
>>> has
>>>>>> the requisite maturity to ascertain if they will be safe in a given
>>>>>> environment, should they act as per their own assessment or follow
>>>>>> what
>>>>>> their parent is saying, in the fear of alienating them?
>>>>>> I think there are many emotional forces at play in a family setting
>>> that
>>>>>> may not be involved in other settings. For instance, one often hears
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> parents emotionally blackmailing their children into acting the way
>>> they
>>>>>> want without recognizing that this may not be in the child's best
>>>>>> interest.
>>>>>> Finally, what makes the situation worse is the fact that the external
>>>>>> world [friends and wellwishers] is also often apprehensive to
>>>>>> interfere
>>>>>> in
>>>>>> these matters on behalf of the disabled person on the ground that
>>>>>> this
>>> is
>>>>>> an internal family matter, so that makes it significantly harder for
>>> the
>>>>>> disabled person to fully assert himself/herself.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> If any of you have dealt with the above, I'd be curious to know what
>>> you
>>>>>> think about these issues.
>>>>>> I am mindful of the fact that not many people would be open to
>>> discussing
>>>>>> this on a public forum, so please feel free to mail me off-list about
>>>>>> this. Further, not many may see this as a problem, given how
>>> accustomed
>>>>>> they are to succumbing to their parents' wishes, no matter how
>>> uninformed
>>>>>> and inappropriate those wishes may be.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Best,
>>>>>> Rahul
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