While it will inevitably feel overwhelming and challenging, you and your child are not alone; here are some guidance tips in supporting your child – and yourself – through an important time.
- Socialize with Others
You are never alone when it comes to dealing with a disability. It can be very beneficial to you as a parent and also for your child to socialize with other families and individuals going through the same thing. Whether it’s a specific support group or just a general community event, socializing with others who understand will help both you and your child mentally and positively.
- Keep an Eye on Their Mental Health, Too
Disabilities may take their toll, especially in younger children or growing teenagers. It’s important to look for signs that any disability is negatively impacting your child’s mental health. If they are suffering from low mood, depression or anxiety due to their disability, you can always seek further support from centers such as Ignite Teen Treatment, so you and your child don’t have to deal with this alone.
- Don’t Neglect Yourself
Any parent wants to give their everything for their child. This becomes even more paramount when you’re helping a disabled child. However, putting all your time and energy into supporting your child can easily mean you become run down, burnt out, or feel less than yourself.
Caring for your own wellbeing is just as important as caring for your child’s. There is nothing selfish in understanding your own needs as well as theirs, and this means that you will be in a more positive and energized state to always support them.
Therefore, taking the time for your own self-care is highly encouraged.
- Avoid Being Too Hard on Yourself
Depending on your personal situation and the severity of your child’s disability, you may need to make some difficult decisions, and feel that there is a lot of pressure on you on a daily basis. It’s important to remember that you can only do your best and that you only ever have your child’s best interests at heart. Try to avoid being too critical of yourself or feeling guilty about anything.
- Celebrate the Good
It’s important not to allow your child or yourself to be bogged down by the negatives. While there are a lot more challenging factors to consider with a disability, that doesn’t mean that you should neglect the small joys or create happy memories with your child. Remember to have fun, laugh, take part in fun activities, and take a family holiday – all the things you both deserve.
- Try Not to Compare
Even without disabilities, children develop at different rates, and if you’re dealing with a growing child who also has a disability, try to avoid comparing them with other children or feeling as though your child’s development is different to others. Your child is a unique person, your circumstances together are unique, and you have to make the best of what you have without being overly critical or feeling pressure through comparing to others.