--We don't compete in life with what we might have been under other circumstances; we compete with others as they are.
A blind person with a reasonable degree of poise and competence can fit in socially on the same basis as others.
Do this in regard to personal grooming and makeup, etiquette, homemaking skills, sex education, general personal relationships, and everything else.
Talk with other parents, including those whose children are grown.
Don't expect perfection from yourself or any parent--remember the man who said, "I once had six theories about how to raise children. " Consciously apply the same general approach to your blind son or daughter that you would use if he or she were sighted.
(Compare the remark sometimes made to a sighted person, "You drive so well I almost forget you are a woman!
") This type of remark is a symptom of the unfortunate social attitudes which still expect the blind to be inferior and incompetent.
--In a culture which tends to glorify youth, we all face changes in attitudes toward our physical appearance as we grow older.
This need be no more of a problem for the blind than for others.
2 (back) (contents) (next) by Doris Willoughby Editor's Note: The book, A Resource Guide for Parents and Educators of Blind Children, which is also by Doris Willoughby and contains an expanded discussion on this subject and many others, is available from the NFB for .95.
There is, of course, no simple formula for preparing any youngster for adult relationships; however we will offer some suggestions which we hope will be helpful.
--Marrying a sighted person is categorically much better than marrying a blind person.
--This young blind woman would be still more attractive if she were sighted.
--Since the majority of the population is sighted, it is to be expected that frequently a blind person will marry someone who is sighted.