From raising kids with amazing talent, to those with agonizing challenges, to even coping with a child who did the unthinkable, meet the parents who faced incredible hardship raising their kids.
What if the child you’re raising is completely different from you and you can’t begin to relate to what he or she is facing? What if your child has an extraordinary talent or a developmental disability? What if your child is physically different from you? Or what if your child committed a heinous crime? Far From the Tree is a provocative new book by Andrew Solomon that is answering these questions and sparking this conversation. The author, Andrew Solomon, writes about his own identity and his parents’ reaction to the realization their son is gay.
“You can love someone and still not accept him fully for who he is.” -Andrew Solomon
@katiecouric great topic! I meet with many parents who struggle to identify with their child because they are “different” than them.
— Stefanie Weiss (@askstefanie) January 8, 2013
We all like to think our kids are gifted, but the truth is, only a few children are born with extraordinary talent. Drew Petersen from New Jersey has something in common with Mozart, Bobby Fisher and Tiger Woods. He knows what it is like to be called a prodigy.
“I always managed to find people who understood me.” -Drew Petersen
One in 88 children is born with autism. The diagnosis brings challenges, frustrations and, as Los Angeles mom Kate Movius has learned, it also brings a real understanding of what love and acceptance means.
“It’s a daily struggle.” -Kate Movius
@katiecouric Katie Movius on autism: this “I am meeting Aidan where he is and not where I want him to be…” GREAT ADVICE IN GENERAL!
— Stephanie Nelson (@snelson411) January 8, 2013
Another chapter in Far From the Tree is about parents of little people, or children born with dwarfism. Most dwarfs, like Kiki Peck from Detroit, are born to normal-sized parents. Her mom, Christina Trapani-Scott, has had to learn how to raise a little child in a big world.
“If you’re just negative all the time, there’s nothing much to enjoy in life.” -Kiki Peck
— The Hutchison Twins (@ddcosmetics) January 8, 2013
Missy Dunfee was a mom in Jacksonville, Florida living a quiet life when she had to come to terms with the unthinkable – that the loving little boy she raised was responsible for a heinous crime. Fourteen years ago, Missy made a shocking discovery and she and her son, Josh, have lived with the consequences ever since.
“There were no warning signs…There was nobody more shocked than me.” -Missy Dunfee
In 1999, Dylan Klebold and his friend, Eric Harris, went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killing 12 students and one teacher. In the course of writing his book Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon developed a close relationship with Sue and Tom Klebold, Dylan’s parents.
“The experience of feeling different affects most of the population.” -Andrew Solomon
@katieshowTragic statement to hear any parent make since most parents of struggling children are struggling themselves to figure it out.
— DebraSchafer (@EdNavigation) January 8, 2013