Self-Care Tips for Parents of Special Needs Children

Self-Care Tips for Parents of Special Needs Children

Being the parent of a child with a disability carries with it unique responsibilities, stressors, and rewards. It requires an extra dose of emotional resilience, perseverance, and resourcefulness. Powered by the same (or an even stronger) drive to nurture, protect, and empower their children as parents of kids perceived as normatively abled, parents of children with physical, intellectual, or developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum issues, spina bifida, or Down syndrome often face profound social and systemic prejudices. These “invisible” obstacles can be all the more agonizing when they are unacknowledged.

The Global Partnership for Education notes “children with disabilities remain the most excluded group [when it comes to educational opportunities], discriminated not only because of their disability but also because of lack of understanding and knowledge about its causes, implications, and stigma.” Even parents seeking to support their child with attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) or physical conditions such as blindness or mobility issues can find themselves overwhelmed by the challenges of getting proper testing or access to a restroom or play space. When a child’s disability dovetails with preexisting societal or cultural prejudices related to gender, race, religious affiliation, or sexual identity, the challenges intensify, with an impact on parents that peers, colleagues, and others may not fully comprehend or appreciate.

As parents of children with disabilities proactively seek information and support and advocate for their children, they may discover frustrating limitations that reinforce a sense of isolation or exclusion and stoke emotions such as grief or anger. As a result of these and other factors, parents seeking support for their special needs children have special needs of their own when it comes to self-care.

 

Mamas, Please Take Care of Yourselves

Mamas, Please Take Care of Yourselves

written by Dr. Liz Matheis, published on Psychology Today

As women, we bear the brunt of childcare, home management, event planning, and social coordinating, often while holding full-time jobs. Although we may have partners who support and tend to the many moving parts of our daily lives, the mental checklists and the energy that we invest in maintaining inventory of household items, coordinating pick-ups, drop-offs, birthdays, and so much more, still sit with us, the moms.

Mama, it’s time to do some self-caring. It’s time to do something small each day that gives you a mental break, something that makes you happy, something you crave. I know it’s not easy. I know that our to-do lists are eternal and always gaining just “one more thing.” We make the lives of our children and the people around us magical. We thrive on making others happy. But what about us? What about making ourselves happy, or giving ourselves the break we tell so many others around us to take?

Mentally Strong Children Are Asked These 5 Things Daily

Mentally Strong Children Are Asked These 5 Things Daily

written by Hillary Gruener, posted on wordfromthebird.blog

The emotional bond between a parent and child can be strengthened when you communicate healthily with them. These 5 questions you can ask your kids daily will help bridge the emotional gap that can sometimes begin to form when a child reaches the age of 6.

In today’s society, parents are faced with the very real probability that their child will someday suffer from a mental health illness.

Statistics showed in 2014, one in every five adults had a diagnosable mental disorder. That’s 18.1% of the population. And that was a long time ago.

The same can be said for young adults. 20% currently are or will be at some point diagnosed with a mental health illness such as depression, anxiety, or substance use.

All the Feels: 10 Books to Help Kids With Their Emotions

All the Feels: 10 Books to Help Kids With Their Emotions

written by Dena McMurdie – posted on readbrightly.com

Kids come with a full spectrum of emotions, some of which are too big to keep inside. Every child handles feelings differently, but learning to deal with them is an important part of growing up. Here are some of our favorite books for helping kids manage their emotions.

What to Do (and Not Do) When Children Are Anxious

What to Do (and Not Do) When Children Are Anxious

written by Clark Goldstein, PhD – posted on childmind.org

When kids are anxious, it’s natural to want to help them feel better. But by trying to protect kids from the things that upset them, you can accidentally make anxiety worse. The best way to help kids overcome anxiety is to teach them to deal with anxiety as it comes up. With practice, they will be less anxious. 

When a child gets upset in an uncomfortable situation and their parents take them out of the situation, they learn that getting upset is a good way to cope. Instead, it’s helpful for parents to let kids know that they’re going to be okay, even if they’re scared. You can’t promise your child that nothing bad will happen. But you can express confidence that they can face their fears and feel less afraid over time. 

You can show your child empathy without agreeing with their fears. For example, you might say: “I know you’re scared to get this shot. It’s okay to be scared. You can get through this, and I’m going to help you.” It’s usually helpful to avoid leading questions (“Are you worried about the test tomorrow?”).  Instead, ask open questions (“How do you feel about the test tomorrow?”). You can use your tone of voice and body language to show your child that you’re calm, which can help them stay calm too. 

Ultimate Summer Bucket List Ideas

Ultimate Summer Bucket List Ideas

posted on mommypoppins

To help you get summer started, we’ve come up with the ultimate summer bucket list of 100 (mostly) FREE ways you can pack more play into your day with (mostly) outdoor games and activities for kids. These summer bucket list ideas aren’t just for kids—they’re fun and engaging activities for the whole family. After all, grown-ups need time to play, too.

Check out our roundup of outdoor games for kids, crafts, experiments, and other activities below. If you make your way through all of these, try our list of ’70s outdoor games, our 25 water games for kids, our favorite bounce houses and kiddie pools, and 15 backyard science experiments for messy outdoor fun. Not to boast, but summer really is our forte.

Now, set aside school, work, and stress; it’s time to focus on this summer bucket list of 100+ ways to play with kids this summer.

ADHD: Creating a To-Do-List that Really Works

Create a To-Do List That Really Works

posted on totallyadd.com

To-Do lists!  We all have them!  There are paper to-do lists, digital to-do lists, apps to create lists, voice notes to-do lists, post-its with your to-do lists…. The options are endless!

But how do you make a to-do list that actually works? How do you successfully use a to-do list where you can tick off items, and feel the satisfaction of getting things done?

For the ADHD brain, getting things done can be challenging!  Getting started with tasks, prioritizing, struggling to be motivated, feeling overwhelmed – all of these are relatively common for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The part of the brain looking after these executive functions is in charge of many organizational aspects needed to take action, get things done, and clear items off the to-do list. It is the conductor in an orchestra, supervising all the other actions and behaviors. But this often does not work so well when you have ADHD.

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"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
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