'Things I wish I knew about stuttering.' by a mother about her son.
Below is the piece written by Oleksandr's mother on her reflection to the previous year (2016), when her son joined the McGuire Programme. Tetiana (Oleksandr's mother) was sure it will help others who have doubts to get more clarity about program, or to family members of those on the program.
In Tetiana's own words: "It's never enough "thank you" - I am very grateful to you and Daniela, and other coaches for what you are doing. I admire your work, these are the things what really change people's life to the better. And it is not just words to me. I can imagine very well how much more difficult Oleksandr's life would be without the program. Thank you!"
- Stuttering will go.
- Nobody is guilty that some people stutter.
- Stress. Constant stress. I didn’t realise it. We both were like boiled frogs, sometimes getting to the state when you spend all your energy to ignore things you can’t change instead of moving forward. Better to find a way to take control over the situation that bothers and put efforts to change than being stuck in avoidance.
- We are all much stronger than we think. My son is much stronger than I thought. I remember very well how I wanted to take him away from the middle of the first course a year ago because I saw him tired. Next day students had to make 100 contacts and I was sure he wouldn’t manage, it seemed to scary (“contact" is when you approach a stranger on the street asking for a time, direction, so on). But that was _my_ fear, not his. I am glad I didn’t share my doubts with him. Never tell anyone that it’s not going to work. Especially in the format “I know it’s not going to work because my friend didn’t manage it”. You show _your_ fears and has nothing to do with other people.
- If you are learning something new - do not listen to advice from people who didn’t walk this road themselves. Even if they were close to those who did they may never know exactly what others feel and go through.
- Developing new skill is easy and fast when:
- what you learn really matters to you
- you have a teacher you admire and your teacher knows how to support you
- you have consistency in practicing
- Family support is crucial. We, humans, are meant to live not alone and not in couples but in families. And whenever you are planning a change you should know that family will pull you back. Think of a group of people standing in a circle and holding hands. Now imagine that one person starts jumping high, again and again. What will people standing next to him do? Several options: they can jump with him, they can move hands to allow that person to jump, they can release hands. But the point is - they will have to react.
- As a family member, if you want to keep the connection with person who changes - you must change as well. Rework your habits and communication style. New way of communication will be different and you may not always like it. But after some time you will find the way everyone is happy with. Is it difficult to change when you don’t really want it? No. It is very very difficult! I notice that some of my habits supported my son in the opposite - to stay stutterer. Not a nice discovery.
- Motivation sucks. If you want do something you just do it without motivation. That’s why all these “I do not have time”, “I don’t have money”, “I’ll do it after I change my job” etc is just a noise. When I look at people at the course working hard on building their new skill I realise how strong people can be if they do something what is truly important to them. If you are not doing something already - you do not need it. Spend you energy on something what really matters to you.
- Community support is as much important as your efforts. Nowadays you can find information on learning/ achieving everything. But why do many people give up even they do what they want? Now with the program I can see that support is crucial. Even when you learn what you need/like there will be moments when you feel like not making a progress at all or tired. This is the time when many people would quit. When you have someone who believes in you, who can give advice and just tell you “It was a bad day, try again tomorrow” - this is enough to keep on going.
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