TIP of the WEEK: Being Happy with Today
January 8, 2016
Intended or not we often give individuals with PWS, whether we work with them or if they are our children, the message that happiness and self-fulfillment will come with time if they work hard and stay focused on their goals. By doing this we are unintentionally saying to them that in order to be happy, they need to be better. Why not change the wording and the message to telling people living with PWS that what they are already doing is good, important, and that they matter– regardless of the contribution? Isn’t any contribution enough?
When we say that “working hard” and “staying out of trouble” will be rewarded with happiness and success we are saying that how they are existing right now, today, isn’t’ good enough. Of course there needs to be goals and dreams to reach for, everyone needs that, but do we value our family and friends less because they haven’t reached their goals yet?
Our friends and family members with PWS need to hear that they are valued just as they are in this moment and yes, reaching their goals or their potential is great but it does not change how we feel about them because they are good, valuable and loved exactly as they are. Isn’t’ that what we all need? So continue to push, coach and set the bar high but don’t get lost in the process and forget the person.
Patrice Carroll is Latham Centers’ world-renowned Prader-Willi Syndrome specialist. She works with Latham Centers’ residents with PWS, their families and consultants, continuously learning and teaching about PWS best practices.