I’m An Expert in This Kid

I’m An Expert in This Kid

I need to say this now before I lose my nerve.

It crystallized in my head this morning but it has been brewing there for a long time, I think without me knowing.

It’s bold and scary to even acknowledge mentally to myself because I know how much I screw up.

I’ve seen threads and approximations of this idea in a few places that always resonated with me – that professionals may know a lot of things, but as a parent, I know my kid. I am fully on board with this idea. I also read the line somewhere – and I wish I could remember where – that I may not have a degree in xyz, but I have a Ph.D. in this kid.

I liked that one especially, because I’ve done the equivalent of an advanced degree in reading and studying over the past two years. I took it as not a flippant disregard for advanced degrees – I love advanced degrees and can’t get enough of them – but as an adequate description of the amount of time and effort I have put in.

So this is my terrifying revelation right now, if only because realizing it in these words make its scary:

If you do not have a background or education in trauma (particularly child trauma), I am more qualified than you in regards to my kid.

Do you know (no, you don’t) how utterly terrifying that is for me as someone with imposter syndrome and a degree in youth ministry and higher education?

Do you know that that very terror is the thing that makes me feel deeply within me that I am right? That if, as someone who spent college studying concordances and grad school studying student retention, I can begin to learn, so should you? If I throw out particular studies or professionals or terms and you don’t know what I am talking about, that’s on you?

This is the stuff that consistently makes sense. This is the stuff that consistently provides a framework that gives meaning to my kids’ behavior. I do not want to be the most qualified person in the room because I know how terribly unqualified I am. I know how much more I want to learn and need to learn. I am desperate like a person dying of thirst to not be the one taking the lead on some of this. But I’m sick of pretending otherwise.

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