Taking Inventory Of Your Life
I do not generally write personal pieces for Her Magazine. For the most part, I try to associate my writings with my profession and give advice or insight within a social work context. But this past month, during the Jewish New Year, I was feeling somewhat nostalgic and more emotional than usual having been surrounded by friends and loved ones.
In a good way. Not in a sad way. Not in a way which makes my stomach turn.
I feel a sense of peace.
Let me begin by stating that in general I know that I am a very sensitive person. This is definitely a double-edged sword. I feel deeply, regardless of the emotion. I hurt easily. But I also love deeply. And will do just about anything for the people that I love.
I am also pretty self-aware. I know what my shortcomings are but I also know my strengths. Those who know me well know and understand my vulnerable side. I do not expose it easily. And not everyone sees it. I am very particular about that.
But with me, what you see is what you get. I am pretty transparent, that is for sure. You know if I am upset or angry. I will express it to you. But similarly, you know if you are important to me. My actions will convey that as well.
Each year around the Jewish New Year, I’d like to say that I take inventory of my life. I do this privately. I assess what I have accomplished over the course of the year. I look at how I have behaved toward my peers and family. When necessary, I am self-critical about my ability as a mother, wife and friend but I also recognize, and praise myself when I know I have done right by my husband and children, for instance.
Since turning 40 almost 4 years ago, I have come to realize that I am no longer prepared to make room in my life or in my head, for the people who drain everything out of me. I am not interested in having my emotional energy wasted on just anybody or anything.
I have also come to realize that I want to surround myself with people who appreciate me, and my quirky sense of humour and my straightforward nature. Not with people who merely ‘tolerate’ me because they feel they have to, or because optically it looks better to others. What is the point? Who benefits?
And what a freeing feeling and realization this has been.
The burden of pettiness has been lifted.
I wish I had this epiphany 20 years ago. Wouldn’t life have been so much simpler if I had?
As blessed as I know that I am, my husband and I both still feel like we are in a constant state of being overwhelmed and we admittedly do not always appreciate what we have.
We have three children. Three very delightful, active girls. All fabulous personalities in their own right. Three different schools. Three different stages of life. Three different carpools. Unlimited extra curricular activities that I have trouble keeping straight.
We are both professionals and have careers that we have not only both worked exceptionally hard for, but which take up a lot of our time and concentration.
We have little family support here in Toronto, so the stresses of every day life weigh exclusively on us.
Even with all of this, stress and all, what I do know for certain is that in spite of the immense pressures during the day to ‘get it all done’, and the incessant girl drama that exists during every waking hour of my life, when push comes to shove, I would not change a thing. (Ok so a good night sleep every now and then to rejuvenate wouldn’t hurt.)
Is Socialization Harder During Periods of Transition? It doesn’t have to be.
September marks a time of many changes in most families. For many, it is a time of uncertainty and anxiety. For many kids, it brings about new classes, new classmates, and new teachers. A whole different environment. A whole lot of unknowns.
Over this past Labour Day weekend, as we prepared for the upcoming school year, our home was filled with a boatload of anxiety.
I had two children changing schools. Both were being TTC trained to get home on their own. We needed school supplies and new shoes. Lots of forms needed to be signed or hot lunch order forms to be completed. The uncertainty of whom would be in their classes, or would they make new friends…all these feelings crossed the minds of my children.
And if I am being totally honest, these feelings crossed my mind as well. Overwhelmingly so.
As a mother, I couldn’t shake the need to have my children settled and satisfied. But I would not dare discuss my fears in their presence. They had enough on their minds and enough of their own fears to contend with.
The truth is, most parents worry about their children more during periods of transition. Once our children are more settled, or after they have found their groove, everyone is able to relax somewhat.
Why is this the case? Why are periods of transition, such as at the beginning of the school year, so nerve-racking?
I speculate that we always worry about the ‘what ifs’.
Or the hardest one, in my opinion…what if my child gets ‘dumped’ by her besties because they find someone else to hang with?
As parents, we are forced to coast through this time of year. I think we pray a lot that our children will be spared in their struggle, and guide our children to empathize with others and to consider others’ feelings before any of us say something we might regret.
But unfortunately, as we all know, we are not in control of what others say and do. We are only in control of how we respond and behave.
So how can we help socialize our children to be good, responsible friends and members of society?
So as it is so eloquently stated by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The only way to have a friend is to be one”. If we are able to teach our children some basic socialisation skills, they should be able to transfer these skills to all aspects of their lives, transitional or otherwise.
Earlier last week, my Facebook page was inundated with ‘shares’ of a video showingdiscrimination at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The video showed sn Egyptian athlete refusing to shake his Israeli opponent’s hand after their judo match.
The video was under a minute long, but it was powerful.
The Israeli won the match, but for the purpose of this blog, these results are insignificant.
What was significant was the fact that the Egyptian athlete would not shake the hand of his opponent. He showed neither sportsman-ship nor common courtesy.
It made me really angry to see such juvenile behaviour. On television. In front of billions of people.
There they were, some of the top athletes in the world, one of whom was behaving like a child whose candy had just been taken away.
How did we get to this point? How is it that the International Olympic Committee is even tolerating such behaviour?
Are there no behavioural expectations imposed on athletes competing at the Olympic
Games which need to be adhered to? And if these courtesies are not adhered to, should there not be grounds for automatic disqualification?
After all, the world is watching. Our children are watching. Our children are witnessing these disrespectful behaviours, and unfortunately learning from them.
Do parents not already have a difficult enough time explaining discrimination and bigotry and teaching children acceptance? Do we really need to worry about such behaviours being modeled at the highest levels of competition?
The topic of discrimination is an important one and one which needs attention in any household.
At some point in our lives, we will all most likely experience it to some degree.
And our children will always have questions. And I believe that it’s important for parents to have an open discussion about discrimination, even if we do not have all the answers.
So how can parents talk to their children about such discrimination? Is there a right way to broach the subject when we ourselves really do not understand the basis of it or the reason for it?
Although not all encompassing, parents can certainly begin the discrimination discussion as follows:
1) Parents need to understand that discussing discrimination is not a ‘one shot deal’. It is a discussion which is ongoing and necessary whenever questions arise about it. Similar to discussions about sex or drugs, which can often be uncomfortable between parents and their children, it is important for parents to reassure their children that they are free to discuss discrimination whenever the need arises.
2) Diversity is a good thing and should be celebrated. We can teach our children to appreciate the differences between people instead of being fearful of them. And instead of discriminating against them. In our family alone, we are comprised of a wonderful mix of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. It’s who we are, and we embrace it. Our children are obviously aware of these differences, realize that it is what makes our family unique, and we would not have it any other way.
3) We can educate our children by using natural opportunities to do so. For instance, a television show’s main characters may be a same-sex couple. Lets acknowledge what it is, call a spade a spade, and use the opportunity to open up a discussion.
Let’s not mince words, and let’s be frank with our children. Let’s talk to them about the differences that exist between people in this world; not in a way where one ‘type’ is better than an other, but rather that there are many types of people who make the world interesting.
The lessons our children learn come from us, and from all the other behaviours of others which they witness.
Unfortunately we cannot always control that which our children see on television or read about on social media.
But with any luck, our children will absorb and internalize the hard-core lessons of acceptance which are modelled for them at home. It’s up to us to insure they receive the correct messages about discrimination.
I typically use this forum to provide advice or tips having to do with issues related to my field of expertise – social work. I have blogged about parenting, and bullying and infertility and anxiety. Or I write about topics which are trending in the news or about recurring themes that I see in my practice.
Usually my blogs encompass some sort of advice as to how we can help ourselves or our children or others who are struggling.
Today’s blog, however is slightly more personal.
It is about an internal struggle. Nothing to do with my children or work or my family life. It is about facing my own fears.
Let me explain.
This past weekend, I attended a rock concert at the Rogers Centre in Toronto with some friends. I bought the tickets several months ago. We were excited to see the band, excited to spend time together, excited to relive our youth a little bit. What better way than to dance and sing along to songs we cherished in our late teens?
Since buying those tickets, there has been increased upheaval in the world and a number of terrorist attacks. The attacks are also on softer targets than ever. The nightclub shooting in Orlando. The bombing in the Istanbul airport. The shooting of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge. And this past week, the brutal driving rampage over innocent civilians enjoying Bastille Day in Nice, France.
So is it naïve of me to think that a terrorist attack could never happen here in Toronto?
Of course it could. And unfortunately I am sure that at some point it will.
The band that played had chosen Toronto as the only Canadian venue for the duration of this tour. As a result, thousands of people made the pilgrimage to Toronto from other Canadian cities. The concert was sold out. The place would be packed and crowded. There would not be an empty seat in the house.
You see, growing up, I did a lot travelling. The advice that was given was to never be alone. “Stick with crowds,” my parents would say. “There is strength in numbers.”
But is this actually true?
I feel as though such advice no longer applies. Strength in numbers? Isn’t it the big numbers and the large crowds that attract terrorism?
Somehow I got it into my head that attending this concert, for me, would be too risky. And for the first time in my life, I was afraid to go. I have a husband and three children who need me. How can I go to an event where the chances are so high that something terrible could happen?
These thoughts flooded my mind for days leading up to the concert. I shared them with my husband and no one else. And then I found it within myself to snap out of this ridiculous mode of thinking.
Was I going to allow fear to dictate my life and the choices I make? Of course not. It is against everything I stand for and everything I try to teach my clients.
So I decided to go. I got on the subway, and I went to the concert. We met for dinner. We stood in the long security line to enter the venue. There were hoards of people. But the vibe was amazing. And all of downtown Toronto was buzzing. And we all had a blast.
The show did not finish until after 1 a.m. And by that time I had already forgotten about my thoughts and fears.
So what did I learn about myself this past weekend?
I tried to implement what I recommend to my clients and what I try to implement with my own kids; if something makes you uncomfortable or fearful, it must not be avoided or ignored. But rather, it should be more of a motivation to step out of your comfort zone and face it.
Did I consider not going to the concert for just a little second? Absolutely.
Did I avoid going to this concert? Absolutely not.
Would I ever not go? Absolutely not.
Was I a little bit fearful? Definitely at first.
But I was able to relax once the show got started and I forgot about these fears.
And I am so glad that I did.
There is a lot of evil in this world. And life can be dangerous sometimes. So, the last thing I would ever want to do is avoid those things which bring me such pleasure. After all, isn’t this pleasure what we are striving for?
Teaching Tolerance to Children
Being born and raised in Canada, I have grown up in a culture of tolerance and am aware that there are many types of people in our society. We are surrounded by differences in ethnicities, cultures and races, genders and levels of ability. Nothing really phases me. People are who they are.
But not everyone feels this sense of ease. Our sense of comfort largely depends on our level of exposure to people who are different from ourselves. The more we are around differences, the more we learn to appreciate instead of fear them.
I am so proud to live in a city that is so open to diversity. One that not only is open to it, but one that embraces it. Since the mass shooting that took place in a gay nightclub in Orlando several weeks ago, celebrating diversity, for me anyway, has become that much more significant.
I have always been amazed by the enormity of the celebration that takes place for Pride in Toronto. But this year blew me away. Seeing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marching at the Pride Parade this past weekend spoke volumes about the feelings of inclusiveness that we all want to see being spread around the country.
So why do we need to encourage tolerance in our children?
We want our children to grow up to be open to learning from different cultures, or from people who are different from them. I truly believe that learning tolerance and inclusiveness starts at home.
Parents need to model the behaviour they would like to see in their children. Children who grow up hearing racist or homophobic comments will learn that it’s ok to make them. After all, if Mom and Dad say it, it must be ok. Right? Wrong. Children need to be brought up understanding that the world is made of a lot of different types of people. And no one type is better than an other.
So how can parents help instil tolerance in their children?
#1 – Parents should examine their own behaviour, and evaluate whether or not they feel they are sending the right message to their children. Parents need to be mindful that children pick up on cues, body language, and subtle messages. Are our messages respectful? Are we being inclusive? Are we modeling the type of behaviours and attitudes that we wish to see in our children?
#2 – Children are inquisitive. They notice the differences between people and it’s ok to discuss these differences, as long as it is done in a factual way.
In our home, we are constantly discussing the differences between types of people, our backgrounds and our beliefs. Our family alone is comprised of many different cultural and racial backgrounds. And I love that my children are exposed to these differences, and realize that we all love and we are all the same, regardless of what we look like or where we come from.
#3 – Parents need to teach their children about pride in who they are, while teaching them to recognize that people come in all different forms, colours, shapes and sizes. Similarly, all people have the right to choose who they want to love. And there is no one right way to love, or one type of person that is more worthy of love than another.
#4 – We need to understand that if our children are happy, and are being raised in a home where they feel accepted for being themselves, they are much more likely to adopt the same open-mindedness toward others.
Unfortunately, far too many people in this world are not tolerant of others who are different from them. Whether the differences are racial, religious or political or are differences in sexual orientation or identification, this world is comprised of people from diverse backgrounds with diverse beliefs. We need to celebrate these differences instead of judging them, and we must teach our children to do the same.
By teaching our children to love and respect others who are different from them, we are simultaneously conveying the same message that we too, will love them and accept them regardless of whom they choose to love.
It seems that over the last few months we have been inundated with horrible tragic news occurring worldwide. Planes crashing into the ocean, mass shootings, forest fires, hurricanes and tornadoes and floods destroying entire cities. And the list goes on. How is one supposed to process these terrifying events? And more so, how are we expected to help our children understand what is going on when we ourselves cannot?
In our home, for the most part, we do not watch the news in the presence of our three children. There are too many acts of violence making the headlines these days, and we do what we can to not expose our children.
In recent days however, both my two older children came home from school having heard about the three incidents that took place in Orlando. First was the shooting of singer Christina Grimmie by a deranged fan. Then the mass terrorist shooting in a gay bar leaving 49 dead and many more traumatized for life. Then a few days later, the horrible drowning of a toddler who was dragged to his death by an alligator, in front of his parents. At the precise hotel that our family stayed in when we went to Disney.
The truth is there is no right way to discuss these tragedies. But our children need answers and validation for their fears.
Tips for Explaining Tragic News to your Kids:
Tip #1 – Limit exposure to footage of the tragedy
As much as possible, limit our children’s exposure to actual footage of a tragedy…there is no need for them to see news reports of gun shots or bodies or tornadoes taking down houses….It is one thing to explain it in words, but it is a lot harder to limit their anxiety once they have the actual images in their heads.
Tip #2 – Reinforce that they can always talk to you
Reinforce to our children that they are always safe coming to us with their questions, no matter how difficult the questions might be. We always want to encourage them to talk about their feelings, because by talking about feelings, we are better able to process what we are thinking. We must never diminish our children’s feelings by telling them not to worry.
Tip #3 – Limit the details
We do not need to provide large amounts of details to our children. In fact, it is best to answer the specific questions that they ask. It is not necessary to share the whole story. We can respond with the simplest answer necessary and in language that corresponds to their cognitive level and intellectual ability.
Tip #4 – Offer practical reassurance
It is always a good idea to offer practical reassurance. For instance, if my 11 year old, who is generally an anxious kid, would ask me about a report she saw about pieces of an airplane being retrieved after it crashed into the ocean, she would most likely be ruminating on the thought of flying and subsequently tell me that she does not want to fly in an airplane ever again.
At this point, providing factual information would alleviate her anxiety. I would explain how many flights take off per day and arrive safely at their destinations. I could also show her statistics on air safety.
Tip #5 – Speak as concretely as possible
Parents should always speak as concretely as possible about such events. For instance, try not to speculate as to why someone would shoot up a nightclub. The truth is, we do not have all the answers. We can, however, say that the shooter was obviously not thinking clearly or he must have been very confused, and that most people would never do such a horrible thing.
Children need to understand that these tragedies are not the norm, and that they should never be afraid to go out and live their lives for fear that something awful might happen.
Life is scary. And that is the truth. There are so many tragedies that occur every day in various parts of the world. It is sad and depressing. If we spend all of our time dwelling on the details, we would become too afraid to leave the house.
Children look to us for safety and security. And we can only protect them for so long. As they get older, they too will understand the enormity of the world’s tragedies. But hopefully nestled in that will be their own determination to not allow their fears and anxieties inhibit them from experiencing all the good that this world has to offer.
As couples navigate their fertility journey, they are often faced with options and forced to make decisions that otherwise never would have crossed their minds. Decisions need to be made that sit right with the people making them. Decisions like what to do with excess embryos.
It is often the case that after several rounds of successful IVF, couples are faced with the reality of excess embryos.
What are they supposed to do with them? Granted this is a problem that many infertile couples dream of having once they’ve had all of their desired children. What to do with excess embryos is a complicated and emotional decision and does not come easily to most couples.
Options for Dealing with Excess Embryos:
Option #1 – Choose to transfer the embryos to themselves and having a larger family
than originally planned.
Option #2 – Donate embryos for scientific research. Technically, the embryos get destroyed but not before being used to help train embryologists or geneticists or for stem cell research.
Many couples view this choice as a gesture of gratitude to the precise science that helped them achieve their dream of having a family. And this is their way of somehow giving back.
Option #3 – Couples can choose to destroy their embryos.
It is hard for some couples to imagine donating embryos to another couple, knowing that they could potentially have biological children in this world who are being raised by someone else. They may wonder, “Will the children be happy? or “Is a loving family raising them?” Would the couple be able to navigate knowing that a little boy or girl they see in the crowd could be their biological child?
Option #4 – Couples can choose to not make a choice….They can keep their embryos cryopreserved for an indefinite period of time.
When I have this discussion with my own clients, they often indicate that they are waiting for some sign or epiphany before they are prepared to make a permanent decision. This indecisiveness, however, comes at a cost. In Canada and the United States, the costs to keep embryos frozen can range from $500 to $2000 annually.
Option #5 – Couples can choose to donate their embryos to another couple, so they can adopt and raise these potential children.
This is the ultimate act of selflessness… Again, this practice is not seen too often. Yet there are some couples who are so grateful that they have been able to complete their family and they feel donating to another couple to achieve the same dream is a natural and easy decision.
Although this is a highly altruistic form of kindness, it is often accompanied by many complex emotions which should be addressed in therapy.
Truthfully, when we spend so much time and money and energy and emotion on trying to figure out how we are going to create children and become parents, the last thought on our minds is how we will dispose of our excess embryos.
Whatever route we choose should be well-thought out and a decision that is made with our partners, and one that can be properly processed with support from extended family, friends, or with the help of a therapist.
For the first ten years or so of parenting, my husband and I, despite conflicting research on television being bad for children under the age of two, were quite liberal in terms of the amount we let our kids watch.
After all, for the most part, their days were filled with activities, playdates and afternoon naps. The amount of television they watched was minimal and there was very little time for Rogers on Demand.
Several years ago, all of this changed. And I cannot recall a particular incident which sparked it. Suddenly, screens were everything and in high demand in our house. Whether is was the computer, YouTube or watching cartoons on the iPad, we suddenly found ourselves fighting with our children to get the most basic, mundane chores completed as they were so preoccupied with watching the end of their show.
Like many households, we never allowed any watching on any device on school mornings. It would be way too tempting and too distracting. We would be asking for trouble and my children would most definitely be late for school.
But the minute they came home, they would drop their jackets and bags and water bottles in the hallway, and bolt to the television…..Um……”Hello. How was your day? Can you hang up your jacket please? Who did you play with? What homework do you have?”…I would ask. Getting answers during the commercials was not cutting it. And their behaviour became more and more rude.
Sometimes they would stop responding to being called down for dinner because their show was not finished….or my younger daughter would complain that she was getting less time for television because she showered at night, whereas her older sister showered in the morning when screens were not permitted….
Everything became a negotiation. And the stress level in our house was climbing exponentially.
So we took television away. From Monday mornings through Fridays after school, screens are only permitted to complete homework assignments and to text friends. At the end of the evening, iPads and phones are plugged in to their chargers in the hallway to guarantee that there is no late night texting or Snap-Chatting.
Limiting weekday screen time only partially solved our problems. Weekends then became the stressful days of the week.
On Fridays after school, without exception, my children would bolt to the television as soon as they got home.
Honestly, I am ok with that. Their school hours are long, and I do not mind that they flake out for a while. But the next day, and the day after that, it is like pulling teeth to get them to get up and dressed. We struggle with this every weekend. Getting out of the house is extremely time consuming. Often accompanied by many casual pleases to get moving, followed by yelling after the third please is ignored.
It’s not realistic to have no screens at all….So what’s a frustrated parent supposed to do?
Intellectually all these tips are useful, but I admit that I am often pretty negligent in implementing all of them with my own children.
Tip #1 – Practice what you preach
Parents need to practice what they preach. If we do not want our kids lured by screens, we need to do the same. Although I generally do not turn the television on while my kids are still awake, I am guilty of checking work emails in their presence or keeping my phone by my side for quick checks every now and then.
Tip #2 – Get outside
As much as possible, encourage your kids to get outdoors, especially at this time of year. In our home, in general, when they get home from school, the kids are instructed to come inside and get their homework done. As the weather warms up, I let them stay outside and shoot some hoops before they come in and get too lazy to leave again.
Tip #3 – No screens at the table
This is one rule we definitely follow in our home. Children need to feel listened to and heard by their parents. And vice versa. It drives me crazy when I am trying to have a conversation with someone and they are constantly distracted by the ping of their phones. We do not allow electronics at our table. We are not shy to gently suggest this rule to our houseguests either.
Tip #4 – Keep screens out of kids’ bedrooms
Although it is ideal to keep computers and televisions out of their bedrooms so that we can monitor what they watch, it gets increasingly complex with laptops, iPads and cell phones.
In our house, our children do their homework in their bedrooms because there are fewer distractions. We also do not need to listen to their constant bickering if they are sitting together at the kitchen table. So how can we implement no screens in their rooms and then expect them to complete their assignments independently? I have not yet found a solution and am open to suggestions.
Tip #5 – Don’t give in
As hard as it might be to put in action, don’t allow yourself to be persuaded by the kids….Often my children will tell us that their friends are allowed this, or they are allowed that, and they expect to have the same rules apply to them….As parents, we must continue to stick to our guns and not let our children sway us to bend the rules just because they don’t agree with them.
The truth is, our children do not have to agree with us. We are not their friends, nor are we their peers. We are their parents. And we usually know what is best for them even if they don’t see it. And as parents, we spend our entire lives trying to find the perfect balance between doing what is right and trying to be fair, even when it comes to technology.
Each week, I sit in my office counselling couples and consulting with them about loss. Loss of the idea that they will have a biological child.
By the time couples come in to see me for counselling, often they have been trying unsuccessfully, for years, to conceive a biological child.
Their relationships with their fertility doctors are on a first-names basis. They know which ultrasound technicians work on which days. And they know which nurses they can rely on to give them proper instructions on how to inject themselves with hormones.
This week marks the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week. Each year in Canada, a week is dedicated to raising awareness about infertility and to educate the general public about their reproductive health, how their bodies function and about any reproductive challenges they may experience.
After years of losses and uncertainties and needles and doctors appointments…with absolutely nothing to show for it, I often have clients ask, “When will this pain stop?”
How can couples recognize when it’s time to stop trying for a biological child?
For every couple, the answer it is different. However the following themes ring true for most of the couples that I have counselled:
As a therapist, it is never my job to tell a client what to do….they must reach their own conclusions. It is part of my job to convey the facts and support my clients’ decisions.
If clients are motivated to keep trying to conceive a biological child, then whatever obstacles they face along the way should be met with joy and anticipation.
However, if the negative aspects of trying to get pregnant overshadow this joy, then it may be time for couples to reconsider their approach. Do they need a break? Do they need a second opinion? Or do they need to change their course of action all together? Or is it time to move on?
In my practice, I see more and more clients who struggle with infertility. Many have tried intra-uterine inseminations, or in-vitro fertilizations, using their own gametes, but to no avail and are considering donor conception.
It is no secret that the emotional affects of infertility are profound. Research has shown that the psychological stress experienced by women with infertility is similar to that of women coping with illnesses like cancer, HIV, and chronic pain.
While researchers once thought that stress contributed to infertility, more recent studies do not make this connection.
On their journey toward parenthood, clients are increasingly seeking out donors…whether they need sperm, or eggs, or embryos. This process is becoming more common practice in the fertility field.
Much of the work that I do is focused on couples who are already involved with fertility clinics.
Most fertility clinics require couples considering third party donations to seek counselling and consultation prior to any procedures taking place.
Although much of the consultation is centred on expectations around the procedure itself, there is also a lot of discussion about disclosure. Who does the couple plan to tell that their child was donor conceived? Do they plan to disclose at all? Will the child be told? What are the pros and cons of disclosure?
When the subject of disclosure is brought up, many couples admit that they never actually thought that far ahead. Others, from the get go, admit that they would be afraid to disclose, for the following reasons:
Fears of Disclosing Donor Conception:
Benefits of Disclosure of Donor Conception:
1) Openness and honesty help build secure relationships.
2) Secrets can create a sense of mistrust and insecurity between family members.
3) By knowing their genetic roots, many donor-conceived children are able to build healthy and secure identities.
4) As genetics play a greater role in medicine and in assessing risks for inherited diseases, revealing the truth to donor-conceived children is considered a medical necessity.
Parents often need guidance and advice and more intensive counselling to navigate this very sensitive topic. Although it is not the therapist’s role to tell their clients how to proceed, part of their job is to point out the facts, to provide the information, and help their clients weigh the pros and cons of their dilemmas.
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