I'm not a mean person, I usually don't even think mean things, I feel like most people are trying and aren't really bad, just maybe having a bad day or moment. But when it comes to my kids, that logic goes out the door. My glare is all Medusa, my stance becomes Godzilla, I could breathe fire and throw flames from my eyes, I'm just sure of it. Of course, no one sees this, it is some internal monster that threatens to rise to the surface. Usually, I can take a deep breath and compose myself before I lash out words that scream "defend yourself evil one."
When my little one was in the hospital for oh so long, I couldn't always protect her. "You want to draw blood by sticking her with a needle multiple times , until you figure out just how to do it right?" "Okay." "Oh, you would like to take her to the OR for a life-saving surgery that will almost kill her because someone misread a CT scan?" "Okay." But I did fight. I researched and asked questions, I looked into things and asked for other opinions. I called for meetings and learned to understand the terminology that seemed a foreign language. Because that is when I learned knowledge is power.
Know what you are talking about and people will take you seriously. Go into a situation armed. Stand up for your child, be their advocate. Be respectful, listen to and acknowledge others opinions, but if you feel strongly,don't back down. Sometimes when you come in claws out, you already have the other person on the defense and you lose ground. Now they are fighting you instead of working with you. Remind them that you love your child and want what is best for your child. Sometimes I will say things like, "I understand how you feel, but please understand that..." or "I realize that you feel ..., but in this situation..." or "I know that you feel ..., but please understand that while you have a number of patients/students/clients to care for, my child is my main responsibility, and this is what I have found to work for us." Be respectful.
No one cares as much about your child as you do, stand up for them, learn about their needs, and show how you care. One of the things I discovered is that many of the professionals involved in my daughters care were comforted by the fact that she was going home to parents who would fight for her future. Someone told me the other day that fair doesn't mean everyone gets exactly the same, it means that everyone has their needs met in a way that works.