advice2 (1)In one of her writings, Lisa Haneberg posited that advice is one of the ways to influence people. Advice must be very essential when you think of the length leaders go to get good advisers. But be that as it may, I think advice to a large extend should be solicited for, offering unsolicited advice to a man according to John Gray is to  presume that he does not know what to do or that he cannot do it on his own. Sometimes, people talk to you as if you are not sensible.. For those of us who have children with CP, whose “problems are visible” to every eyes, we get a lot of unsolicited advice, from “friends” and relations.

Sunday, after mass, here was I preoccupied with how to navigate with Ziim through the crowd and the canopies that had taken up walk ways to go and try and get a taxi home. Ok, my car was out of order so we had to go by public transport. It was good for it provided me with yet an opportunity to live    in other’s shoes. This man worked up to us; madam, do not be angry, I want to give you advice on this your baby. I stood speechless, plastered a smile on my face. I will advice you take this your baby to the other side of the church every Sunday after mass and let a priest pray for her. Really, how about the mass? Is it not supposed to be the greatest sacrifice and prayer? She needs special prayer, he retorted, that’s what my spirit says I should tell you.  Since I cannot argue with a spirit, I walked away, saying nothing. Most times people think that the fact that Ziim has not been healed is because I have not prayed enough. A friend told me not too long ago that , that Ziim’s lack of healing is due to my lack of faith, that if “only I can just believe, she’ll be healed”.I have learnt not to waste my with such people.

Today I am talking about advice, and how insensitive some people can be. Mummy G, was at the Center the other day, she looked very down. I took her to my office and asked why. Taking care of any child could be challenging,  much less one with cerebral palsy, particularly  in a country like ours where there is no social support for one to fall back to.  Mummy G, like yours truly is a single parent, G is four years, has CP. Mummy G has been in between jobs for a while now. I will leave what taking care of G is to your imagination. So what is new? Why are we looking so low? It is the advice I have been receiving. Hm.. what advice?

The person that assists her (a relation) is advising her to institutionalize G! She has pointed her to the direction of a “home” where she can take G and get on with her life. Taking care of G according to the “helper” is what is keeping her from holding down a job and it is not as if she is doing anything for her. So her advice is to take G to a “home” and visit her regularly. So what do think? Do you want to do that?  Aunty Nonye, I am confused, I really am at loss as to what to do. The pressure is too much, and like she said, there really is nothing  I am doing for G, may be it is better I take her there. Really?? Did you just hear yourself? You are not doing anything for G? Is there anything a mother does for her four year old that you do not do for G? I thought you do more. G is totally dependent on you and you think you do nothing for her.