Raising children can be a full-time job. Many parents appear to have it all together, other’s not so much. Habits can create a better routine for behavior which leads to a better grip on the life you and your child lead. Do you have positive and helpful habits when it comes to being a parent of a child with special needs? We give some ideas for helpful habits that will make parenting and helping your child much easier.
Maintain Support Systems
Parenting can be hard at some points and you shouldn’t have to face it alone. Maintaining a support system that you can turn to will make you feel less alone on your journey. A support group can provide you with resources to help you and lend a listening ear. A support group of parents who are on your same journey may give you ideas to tackle a problem differently. These support groups can be found in a Facebook community or found offline. A parent should have a support system not only found in a support group but also with friends and family. Do you maintain friendships? Keeping close friendships can help with your health and overall happiness. Friendships are there to support you, share special moments with and can help you vent when times are hard. They provide a life outside of the home and can create better connections in your everyday life. We are all busy so you may go periods of not meeting up with your support system. Keep connections alive by taking time to stay connected with a quick phone call, email or text. If you are always the first one to reach out, do not let that stop you.
Do Your Own Homework
Become an expert when it comes to your child’s special needs. Conduct your own research often when it comes to the latest developments and findings. Not only by reading the latest articles online about programs and therapies but by being an investigator in their daily life as well. Keeping tabs on what is happening in your child’s life leads to a better understanding in what you and others can do to help improve it. It can create better discussions on what can be done for your child in school, the local community and to their health. Decrease gaps in parent-teacher relationships by meeting more often with your child’s educational team to have greater knowledge about what your child is learning, areas they need to further develop in and to aid in building stronger ties with your child’s daily environment.
Take Time Out
Everyone needs a break from time to time. Make sure you are taking time out for yourself to recharge. Carve a spot out each week for you to do something you enjoy. Are you keeping up with your self-care physically and emotionally? Being a parent can sometimes mean putting your child’s needs before yours. However, you can not be your best when you are running on empty. Physical self-care includes getting enough sleep, eating healthy and receiving regular medical care. You may have a lot of doctor appointments for your child but that doesn’t mean that you should be neglecting your own health. When your health suffers or you become sick, the ability to take care of your child will suffer as well. Emotional self-care includes working on relationships, saying no to extra responsibilities, spending time with individuals, enjoying a hobby and giving yourself quiet time.
Create A Safe Environment
Creating a loving and supportive environment will positively impact your children forever. Do you encourage your child or praise them? This will help them develop a healthy and positive attitude and self-image. Gossip about your child so they can overhear. No not the bad gossip, let your child overhear you the next time you tell a grandparent on how well they did with their latest school assignment. When your child talks to you do you listen and provide helpful feedback? Children need to feel safe when confiding in you. So they will feel it is okay to come to you when something is really troubling them. Be sure to take their feelings into consideration when providing feedback. Give them a safe environment free from negative criticism and they will feel more comfortable in opening up to you when things go wrong or a challenge arises. The way you speak to your children provides them with an example on how to treat others and how to treat themselves. Show your children that you care for them even when you disagree with their behavior.
Becoming a parent can change you drastically. Your life and your habits focuses in on a singular purpose, your child. It creates a tighter bond that you ever thought possible. Life with a child can be meaningful, fun and chaotic. However, you should never get too busy to take time out to care for yourself or carve out a spot from your day to make them feel important. Creating helpful habits can improve the bond with your child, a better understanding of their education and a healthier lifestyle for yourself.
If you have any questions about Cerebral Palsy or would like to find a Cerebral Palsy support group, do not hesitate to give us a call. Contact our care team at (800) 692-4453 or fill out our contact form on Facebook or on our website.