Being a parent in general is not an easy task, but being a parent of a child with special needs brings extra challenges. However, this can also make the life of a parent with a special needs child extra rewarding, extra passionate and more interesting because with all the challenges come extra rewards.
Parents of children with special needs should hear these things once in a while.
1. You are not alone.
You might sometimes feel that no one understands your struggles, but you aren’t the only parent with these problems. Not all parents who parent a child with a disability will go through exactly the same struggles, and many may have different disabilities altogether – but they will understand. In this day and age there are many supportive parenting groups on social media where parents can uplift and support each other and lean on others for advice. When you do feel alone and want to talk, you should make use of these groups.
2. You also deserve to be pampered and cared for every now and then.
As a parent of a child with special needs you are always in a position of caring for them and more seldom than not, will put their needs before yours. Sometimes though, you need a break to rejuvenate your mind and body. So make sure that you still go out with friends, have a date night with your partner, and enjoy the time off. The happier you are with your partner (or without, if you are a single parent) and with yourself, the better you can deal with the difficulties of raising and caring for a child.
3. Parents of children with special needs are super heroes.
They don’t hear this often enough. They might not be able to leap over buildings or lift trains, but they deal with tantrums and meltdowns – sometimes on a daily basis. They encourage their children to do things that even doctors say they won’t be able to do and they never give up hope. You are not a regular parent – you are a superhero!
An in-line conversation hosted on a talk show between mom’s of special needs children. BraveHeartWomenTV
4. Celebrate the little things.
Brag about those accomplishments that might seem small to others but are huge for our kids! A child with special needs develops on their own clock. They learn many skills late and some they may never master but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t celebrate the things that they do accomplish. Just like any proud parent, their child’s development is a priority and a proud accomplishment.
5. Trust your instincts.
As their parent and guardian, you know your child best. For parents who have a child with special needs, many people may offer advice for their development. It could be in the form of opinions or experience of experienced parents, or perhaps even professionals like therapists, doctors, teachers, etc. If you feel that what they are saying is not true then go with your instinct and ask for a second opinion. You know your child best.
Being a parent is very hard but also the best thing that can happen to you. Take your time, become the best parent you can be for your child’s sake. They will love you for it, and return your love ten-fold.
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Written and published by Wade Schultz.