Raising a child is not going to be a cakewalk, or so did everyone tell you. What no one told you is that if your child happens to have special needs, don’t sweat it. It can be just as fun and an enriching experience. Whether the disabilities are physical, or mental or even related to learning, the process of enabling the child to face the challenges of everyday life can seem quite taxing for the parent. These preconceived notions create a lot of mental stress for the parent. Our advice is, lose your fears, not your mind. Your child is just as capable as any other child out there. Having said that, some issues in your bundle of joy may leave him feeling a little bit out of sync with the mainstream world.
Here is a guide for you to get started on being the best parent ever for him!
Acceptance is the key:
The first thing you need to do is to accept the fact that your child has a little more nuanced needs than usual, and that there is nothing wrong with it. People have overcome many such disabilities and achieved great things in life. In a day and era where breakout music stars like Billie Eilish are speaking about Tourette’s syndrome on a platform as mainstream as Ellen, kids really do have great role models to look up to and learn that they should be proud of just who they are. All he needs is your support. So, you need to be in a calm state of mind to be able to come up with the best possible solutions for him.
Get the right help:
Merely worrying about your kid’s future will not suffice. You need to find out the best pediatrician who has enough experience dealing with such cases and get on board to drawing up a plan of action regarding your child’s treatment. Consider informing the school authorities as well. Monitor his progress and participation in school activities. You can do your share of the guiding at home, and periodically check in with the school to be on the same page as them in your child’s developmental process. You can look up some support groups online. These groups consist of parents whose children are going through the same thing. Thus, you might get some major insights, or at least have other people to share your journey with.
Positivity is essential:
The bitter truth is, at some point in life every such parent has feared the judgement of society. Sometimes even their sympathy leaves us with a crippled feeling. And we certainly would not want this feeling of helplessness to transcend to your child. It really helps if you can surround yourself and your child with supportive people, who really understand, and create a nurturing environment for him to have a fun childhood. They say you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with. So, you really don’t want to surround yourself and your little one with judgement, negativity and fake sympathy, do you?
Maintain your health:
Raising a child, let alone one with special needs, is quite a draining activity. Constantly having to be available for them, taking them to check-ups, school activities etc can leave parents devoid of energy to take care of themselves. This will eventually take a toll on the child as well. Hence it is of utmost importance that you focus on a healthy lifestyle. Eat right, get enough sleep, workout a bit regularly. And do things that make you happy. Socialise. Physical and mental well-being is an investment that you are making on yourself, and there is nothing to feel guilty about it.
Believe in yourself:
Take a deep breath. Tell yourself that you have got this. No matter how many things you have done right, a few of those helpless moments are bound to strike. It is very important to keep your calm, otherwise your child may eventually start feeling guilty for putting you in a state like this. Who wants that? So, follow some positive affirmations and meditate for a little while every day and tell yourself that you will get through this just fine, and that the future holds nothing but endless joy and possibilities for your little one.