Just a few weeks left and the kids will be home for the summer. Some of you may be looking forward to all of the fun activities you have planned, while others are wondering how in the world you will make it to August without committing a murder/suicide!
Some tips for you Mom’s that you may already know, but probably bear repeating!
- Do not be surprised when your kids act like kids! Yes, they will fight, whine, complain and sleep. They will say they are bored then argue about not wanting to do the things you plan to keep them busy. That is what kids do, and if you start each day waiting for it you will handle it much better.
- Create some structure. Have a daily list of tasks for them to complete. Don’t argue about it. Simply let them know nothing else happens if they don’t complete them. Be selfish and choose things that benefit you!
- Have them make suggestions on activities early on and plan them. Don’t worry if they all do not want to take part. If you leave one or more to be by themselves or do something else that is fine. Time alone with individual kids is always good for them and you.
- Always schedule time for you! You are of no use to anyone else if you are not doing things that re-fuel and feed you! Plan ahead for those things as well, and you will find that you will experience the feelings of resentment less on the days when you do not have a moment to yourself!
Raising kids with disabilities is not easy. Watching children struggle to do the things that other kids do is frustrating as well. Despite this, we all have a chance to play a positive role in their lives. Similar to other kids, they need love, support and structure.
In my tenure as a counselor I have worked with many parents who have committed their lives to children with varying issues. Their love, patience and tenacity have inspired me throughout the years. In being taught from their successes, and working to help those who were struggling, the basics of what disabled children need became evident.
- All children need love and acceptance.
- Especially in the case of children with special needs, structure is of the utmost importance.
- Accepting children for who they are and not being surprised that they act like they do will decrease your anxiety in dealing with them dramatically.
Whether “normal” or “special”, all kids are worthy of love and thrive in relationships where they know love and acceptance are present. When they know this, your ability to direct and support them increases. We all can play a role in the lives of children whether you are a parent, grandparent or just a friend. You may be the one to make a difference!