You Can Do This -- And YOU Do it Best!
This week we have heard from several parents telling us that they feel battered, tired, exhausted, judged, and misunderstood in their journey parenting children who have challenges.
You may be dealing with the with the big names: Autism, ADHD, Downs Syndrome, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Sensory Integration Disorder, Apraxia, Charge Syndrome, Executive Function Disorder, (or any other diagnosis).
or...there may be no special name for what you are enduring day by day.
Some of your children look like they have special needs. Some of them do not.
Bottom line is: You are struggling. Life is hard. Your child is struggling or suffering and you are wondering if anyone truly understands.
You get all kinds of advice -- some requested. Most not warranted.
You feel judged. You feel misunderstood. You feel a bit lonely and confused.
Here's a few tips to get you back to your marvelous self...
1. Breathe. Take a minute to take a few deep breaths. If you like hot tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. Get some. If you have chocolate or some other favored treat. Eat some. Get quiet for just a minute.
2. Stop beating yourself up. Don't buy into everyone else's opinions about the way you handle your child or about the decision you make for his or her care or development. Your child is unique. You are unique. Those people out there really have NO idea, even dare we say some of the professionals. Some of the folks out there may be sincere in their love for you or your child. Acknowledge that. Appreciate that. But don't make their advice your rule book.
3. Your child is a treasure. No matter what is going on with him or her. If you sit long enough and focus on how much you love this child of yours, you will see just how precious they are. No. matter. what. If you purpose to find it, you will. Look for it. Spend some time on this while you eat that treat and sip your special drink.
4. You are an awesome parent. You have dreams for your child. You desire to help your child reach their absolute best. You work hard for your child. You sacrifice much for your child. You are a treasure and a blessing to your child. You bring such a critical piece of the wholeness puzzle to your child that only YOU can bring.
5. Listen to your gut! If you sense that you need to go in a certain direction, if you feel like something would be very helpful for your child, find out more about it. Pursue it. Go for it. This is intuition that is gifted only to you, as the parents. Moms -- be open to Dad's concerns. Listen to him carefully. Respect him. Dads -- the Mom of your child has a gift like none other. She has deep within her a knowing when it comes to this chiild. Listen carefully to her. Validate her. You both are a gift to this child. Together you bring necessary pieces of the puzzle for this child. Both pieces are vital. Work together. Work as one unit -- a parental unit.
6. Forgive yourself. Every parent on the planet has something they feel guilty about with regard to their child. Everybody. Young and old. Yes, you will mess up. Yes, you may go in a direction that you think will make a difference for your child and over time it may seem to be a compelte flop. First of all -- every experience brings learning and enhancement. Nothing is in vain. Nothing is fruitless. Sometimes, we have to go a certain way to know that another way would be best. Perhaps the way you choose is good for a time and then it becomes time to change it up a bit. Always evaluate.
Move forward with confidence. You are smart. You love your child like no one else. You have your child's best interest at heart. Pick yourself up from the proverbial face splat, brush yourself off, and move forward with confidence.
We believe in you. We know you can do it!
And...don't forget to take care of the caregiver!
Julie and Tom