This was written by Lee Caggiano and Susan Short for parents at a FRIENDS Workshop.

Because we recognize that parents need to become strong supporters of their children who stutter, and because we are advocates for our children, ensuring the right of each to become a strong confident and assertive individual who is allowed to achieve all he or she is capable of becoming….

  • We will understand that we did not have the power to cause stuttering in our children. Stuttering is the fault of no one: it is not our fault as parents, it is not the fault of our children.
  • We will stop referring to stuttering as a weakness or abnormality and begin to view it as a challenge, for ourselves and for our children. As we accept this challenge, we begin to see that stuttering can change our lives in meaningful ways.
  • We will make the choice to love and appreciate our children for the remarkable people they are right now.
  • We will listen to what our children say rather than to how they say it.
  • We will understand that stuttering has become a part of, our lives, increasing the need for each of us to be flexible, curious, and open to new possibilities for ourselves and for our children.
  • We choose to stay in the present rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
  • We will respect our children, encouraging them to make their own decisions, as each becomes his or her own “best therapist.”
  • We understand our role as an encourager of our children, trusting in their abilities to become independent, productive, happy people whose identity includes, but is not limited by their stuttering.
  • We trust in our ability to become advocates for our children, learning all we can about stuttering and the resources available to our children and to ourselves.
  • We understand that as individuals we are able to choose to be happy rather than unhappy. We are responsible for feeling good about ourselves as parents and to communicate to our children that we feel good about them.

This article is from Reaching Out, December 2004

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