Rachel’s daughter, Reagan, was born 11 weeks premature. She spent 43 days in the hospital NICU before she and her husband were able to bring her home. During those long 43 days, Rachel learned many lessons. Perhaps one of the most important things she learned is to be an advocate for her daughter.
An advocate is defined as:
1: one that pleads the cause of another; specifically: one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court
2: one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal
3: one that supports or promotes the interests of another
But what does it really mean, as a parent, to be an advocate for your child? And honestly, the answer truly depends. It depends upon the parents, the child, and the situation, even the child’s age.
For Rachel, advocacy for her daughter is fairly simple. According to Rachel, it means that she takes on her battles. It means that she asks the questions. It means that she knows more about what is going on with her than anyone else in the world. During her NICU stay, this meant that she was present every time the doctors did rounds. It meant that Rachel was present at every meeting with a specialist. It meant that she had a notebook full of questions, information, and answers. It meant that she asked and looked at her chart almost day.
For you, it could mean that you’re involved in your child’s education. It may mean meeting their teachers, or attending school functions. It may mean reviewing their homework every night. Advocating for your child may mean enrolling them in a specific program designed to meet their needs. It may mean that you take a few steps back, in order to let your child experience growth and change. It may mean admitting that there is something wrong.
Regardless of the way in which you advocate for your child, it’s our right, our responsiblity, and our joy as parents to stand up for and with our children. Here at The Price Group, we want to help you as advocates for your child. We want to be another group of people in your corner, fighting for your child.