Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. It requires constant care and there is never a set retirement date. Parenting is extremely challenging, and we can all admit to needing a helping hand occasionally.
This role can be even more demanding when you have a child with additional needs. However, there are still many ways that you can adapt to the circumstances at hand, here just a few….
Make Use of Your Resources
Nowadays, there are many resources available online that can help you get to grips with the needs of your children. Don’t be afraid to research as much as you can about their diagnosis and try to educate yourself as best as you can.
Identify Your Child’s Triggers
Children with special needs or learning difficulties can have an array of different triggers. Some have one or two, whilst others may have many more. For some kids, these triggers will be loud noises, and for others crowded spaces. Identify what sets your child off so that you can try to avoid these circumstances from occurring in the first place.
Keep Your Own Stress to a Minimum
Children can instantly pick up the energy that their parents are radiating. If you come across as stressed and frustrated, your child will pick up on your behaviour and emulate it too. Try to relieve some stress by delegating responsibilities amongst your family and reaching out to any support groups in the area.
Find a Great Babysitter
This goes hand in hand with keeping your stress to a minimum. Not everyone can afford a live-in babysitter but try to hire a sitter at least once a month. Use this time to enjoy date night with your partner or treat yourself to a spa session. Another option is respite care work, find out more about respite care for children in this guide by Lagan’s Foundation.
Set Aside an Emergency Fund
Raising a child, or multiple, with additional needs will ultimately incur some additional expenses too. Things like therapy, medication, social equipment, extracurricular activities all add up at the end of the month. Set aside an emergency fund especially for these additional costs as this can help you budget the rest of your finances.
Create An Emotional Support Group
Whether you are a single parent or have a partner beside you, creating an emotional support group is of utmost importance. This group can include friends, family, and even strangers online. Reach out and see if others in your community find themselves in a similar situation. Families who are in similar situations are great contacts to have. You can vent to each other and exchange tips or tricks too.
Don’t worry if some days feel much harder than others. This is completely normal. Just try to approach every new day with a fresh mindset and let the worries of yesterday go. Remember that you also need to take care of yourself whilst raising your children.