The birth of a child brings joy into the lives of the parents and their families. But not every child is born in the healthiest form. They require special needs, attention and care while growing up, and a large majority of parents in India do not have the knowledge or the resources for it.
Our qualified parenting counsellors in Ahmedabad at We Positive Parenting understand these challenges and have come up with a list of 6 tips for parents with children requiring special needs, to help them in their upbringing and make their lives easier and harmonious.
1. Ask for help
You may have heard it, but it is worth repeating. ‘Asking for help does not mean you are weak’. Rather than struggling to figure out your child’s special needs all by yourself, seek help. Open up and talk about it to gather more and more information. There are high chances of you realising that your parenting techniques were right all along, but all you just needed more information on it and some support to sail through.
And the best way to get started is by seeking help from a parenting counsellor or guide. They are equipped with the knowledge, experience and resources to help you and your child.
2. Join support groups
We know, it gets frustrating, when people with absolutely no idea about your struggles as a parent of a special needs child start giving you advice on how to do parenting.
Knowledge grows when knowledge is shared. And challenges become easier to achieve when they’re shared with like-minded people. We always encourage parents with special needs to be part of various support groups where other parents with similar challenges and struggles come together.
Joining such groups or communities will make you realise that other people are also walking the same path as you. This will help you discover their coping strategies and new resources. Moreover, you will also get support from other parents who ‘actually get it’ and learn how to seek hope and strength by their stories.
You can feel free to get in touch with our parent counsellors at We Positive Parenting to know about such groups for parenting in Ahmedabad or in your city of residence.
3. Take breaks
Taking a break does not mean you do not care for your child. Your body just needs to take rest regularly as mental exhaustion is a thing. Don’t over work yourself and give yourself a chance to recuperate. Be it drinking coffee in silence, be it reading a book or be it just lying down to rest. Recharge yourself by doing what you like.
You can even put your child in a stroller or wheelchair and take a walk with a friend. Both you and also your kid will benefit from the change of the scenery. And it gets refreshing to break away from the monotony of you everyday tasks
The parenting guides at We Positive Parenting have also created special programmes to help parents of children with special needs to learn how to deal with stress and the additional responsibilities.
4. Be the voice of your child
Your child will have plenty to say, but they may not be able to make themselves understood most of the time. This, because of their health challenges. Be their voice, be their communicator to the world. And it is possible only when the communication with your child is frequent and strong. The more you talk to them, the clearer you’re able to understand them and the better you can explain it to others. It only helps you grow better, and make their lives easier too.
5. Appreciate them for even the smallest of their wins
Take pride in every new accomplishment of your child. Because even the smallest of tasks for them is a mountain to climb. Your kid is developing at his/her own speed. What may look like a regular thing to do, could be monumental for your child and a step up towards their growth.
This encourages them to take on new challenges every day, learn something new and be consistent. Further, be involved in their activities, ask them questions. Let them tell you what they are up to. It gives their confidence a great boost when they realise that they have the support and approval of their mother and father.
6. Don’t isolate yourself
Parenting a special child can feel like a lonely job sometimes. But staying cooped up in your own world will never help you as a parent. Connect, communicate and bond regularly with parents, teachers and medical professionals who play an important role in the everyday life of your child. This way, you’re able to educate the people around you about the challenges your child faces and get them on your side, to help you navigate them in real life situations.
Always remember, things improve with time! You may feel like it is the end of the world, but there are always people who will guide you, understand your situation and are willing to help you. All you need to do is ask.
And we are happy to help you. Get in touch with us at We Positive Parenting.