Podcast Episode 21. Not giving up, hanging in there – is the theme of this week’s podcast interview with Carmelina. She shares her journey with her son Dominic with us. Sometimes picking your battles is the key, as small things become your focus when you need to be looking at the bigger picture. We need to decide what will make the real differences, and fight those battles.

Carmelina offers insights on relationships. She encouraged sport as a means for Dominic to learn how to develop and maintain friendships. Carmelina explains sport has provided Dominic with a common passion and purpose, and this has enabled him to engage in conversations where he is an equal partner with his peers, who don’t necessarily have the same challenges as him. This common passion helps him because these differences are quickly forgotten in those moments where all that matters is being on the same team.

Having the chance to work has also been key to Dominic developing his independence skills. This sense of purpose has enabled him to develop transferable skills as well as start to understand the types of work he might like to do in the future. It also has meant he has begun to understand the complexities of earning and saving money.

Carmelina also talks about reaching out to other parents who may not necessarily be on the exact same path as you but at least understand some of the challenges you’re facing. This support and talking to others is something that can help anyone on what is often feels like a lonely journey and sometimes a scary space. Carmelina’s story reminds us that with perseverance we will get to the space where, like her, we can reflect on the independence skills our children have and where we can realistically imagine where their lives might go in a positive future focused way.

Show Notes
[3.15]   – All about Carmelina and Dominic
[4.30]   – The sporting journey begins at 5 and a half
[5.20]   – The challenges of secondary school
[6.15]   – The gap widens
[7.30]   – Dealing with death in the family
[8.20]   – Sport bridges the gap in communication and maintains friendships
[9.10]   – The part time job building transferable skills
[11.05] – What the future might hold for Dominic
[12.30] – Coming out the end of the tunnel
[11.20] – Top tips from a parent

Key Takeaways
Pick your battles
Listen to yourself
Help them follow their passions