Don't Let Stuttering Hold You Back

To my daughter:

Your entire life is ahead of you! What you will become, what you will accomplish, "doors" that will open to you, and people that will be touched by your presence are too numerous for me to even grasp! Look at what you've become already, my dear.

This may be hard for you to imagine, but stuttering does hold some people back from doing what they want to in life. They feel people may think less of them if they "expose" their stuttering. So they back off from situations they really want to do, but think they might stutter. Or they have someone else do it for them. Either way you want to do it, my dear, is fine with me. Your dad is here for you. I'll support you either way. But you know what I've found out? By far the majority of people don't mind if you stutter while talking to them. Any uncomfortableness results from their not knowing how to react to you. They don't look down on you, just don't want to offend you. They don't know what they should do; look straight at you, and patiently wait for you to talk, with a little smile. Let you say what you want to say.

I know it's sometimes scary talking to adults; they're so much bigger than you are...right now that is. Everyone your age feels this way too. In time, this "fear" of adults will become less and less as you grow older, and become one yourself. So if you ever need Dad or Mom to do or say something to an adult for you, no problem! We're here for you! This is a normal thing for a young person at your age.

It seems the "fear of stuttering" doesn't hold you back at all! I see your many friends, how you're doing so well in school, the way you order at restaurants, talk on the phone, answer at the meetings (church); you make me so proud! Honey, stuttering isn't the gauge by which a person is judged as to whether or not they're a good person. We'll talk about this later.

Remember, to what extent you want to live your life, in spite of stuttering, is totally up to you. I'm behind you 100%! You're doing great! Stuttering doesn't have to control the decisions you make in your life. Do what you want to do. Live your life as you want. Be your best!


added Apirl 20, 1998