Authors say parents should lower their expectations

PERRYSBURG, OH (Toledo News Now) - Gina Gallagher and Patty Konjoian are leaders of what they call "The Movement of Imperfection."

The two Massachusetts sisters have written a book called "Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid."

Both are parents of special needs children.

The book offers tips about raising kids who aren't perfect in a world that's pre-occupied with perfection.

"Parents need to let go of the expectations of the reality of who their children are," said Ms. Gallagher.

"And also use laughter as a healthy coping mechanism. And when that fails, you can drink wine," said Ms. Konjoian.

Ms. Gallagher has a daughter with asbergers, another daughter with a language based disability.

Ms. Konjoian's daughter is bi-polar and a son has attention deficit disorder.

"It's never making fun of children. It's making fun of the perfection standards of our society today and how ridiculous they are," said Ms. Gallagher.

The sisters believe laughter is the best medicine.

That's why they took their message of hope and understanding to the local chapter of the Adopt America Network Saturday at the Funnybone Comedy Club in Perrysburg.

"They teach us to appreciate the things in life that other people take for granted. So when one of our children accomplishes something that might seem small to someone else, we know and understand the gravity of it," said Ms. Konjoian.

And when that happens, they say it's important for parents to brag about their imperfect child.

"Letting go of the expectations and loving their children for who they are," said Ms. Gallagher.

"And just being honest because we do have issues," said Ms. Konjoian as she held a bumper sticker reading "Got Issues?"

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