Parenting is one of the most herculean tasks in the world from time immemorial. It’s an automatic job you receive the moment you have a child or even children. Parenting is a job that loads with incessant responsibilities every day without rest. The only time a parent gets recess is when the child has become a full-fledged adult. However, raising a child with disabilities is a special responsibility. It requires extra patience, extra parenting, and above all, extra painstaking efforts. This is so because a child with disabilities is a unique being in the eyes of our Creator.
Let me take you through some of the things you may need to know as a parent raising a child with disabilities.
What to Know if You are Raising a Child With Disability
1. Enjoy Playing With a Disabled Child
Children are innocent and sinless creatures. You can’t take it from them. They spend most of their growth playing. It is said that whenever a child is growing up, those forms of play he engages himself with aid in the development of his brain. Children with disabilities also love to play. As a parent raising one, you must focus on playing with them. A child with disabilities who doesn’t see his parents play with him can give him negative thoughts instantly.
He’ll probably assume his parents don’t want to play with him because he’s different from his other siblings. Moreover, even if you’re a parent who goes to work and returns home as late as 4 pm or 5 pm, whenever you set foot in your home, try and locate your disabled child and play with him. Show him you live for him. Whenever you’re not nearby, flood his surroundings with toys. It’s also very effective in raising them.
2. Create Time to Take Your Disabled Child for Fun Activities
Who doesn’t love outings? Outing with family is top-notch. Imagine carrying out a disabled child from home, he’ll think you’ve taken him to another country. Sometimes parents don’t like exposing their disabled children to the outside world due to paranoid presumption. As such, that child will feel like he has been put behind bars. And so his life will resemble that of a recluse.
But then, with the help of a timely outing, he gets to see the world in a better way, sees how expansive, he gets to gamble with his siblings and other people. Because of this, his love for his parents will magnify because he’s being treated like other children. This is very effective when raising a child with disabilities.
3. Praise Them to Make them Happy
Naturally, whenever a child is evolving, he’s bound to try out new things and confides in his parents. So, with a disabled child, laud them frequently. Remember, the aim is to treat them specially. Even normal children require praise too.
However, if you’re raising a child with disabilities, let him feel like he is a normal child but add extra condiments to your parenting. Never criticize. I know that’s nearly impossible because humans are fickle. But a child with disabilities is different, one mistake could lead to a cascade of mental breakdown.
A disabled child is very fragile which is why soft and constructive criticism can come in handy.
4. Visit a Therapist if Needed
Being a parent is a gift for many, while for some, it is a course you must learn. If you happen to be a parent raising a child with disabilities and feel utterly oblivious, rather, ignorant of how to go about things. It’s a simple calculus, meet therapeutic personnel with sheer experience in parenting a child with disabilities. You should frequently visit the therapist so that you’ll get sound knowledge of how to be the best parent to your disabled child. And if you happen to have tons of questions, ask so that you’ll be enlightened more.
Knowledge of parenting a child with disabilities is vast and the course itself never ends. As such, the practice is harder than the theory.
5. Adopt Proper Parental Diction
An ideal parent sifts his wording meticulously before he utters it to his children. Psychology says that most children’s behavioural nuances and utterances emanate from their parents. Children are mostly copycats of their parents.
Significantly, for you to speak to your disabled child in an ideal way, it is germane to never use vulgar or obnoxious language at them and even with them. Your vocabs should constantly be on word check to avoid bad parenting. A child with disabilities is also a normal child in front of his parents which is why a parent must raise them well with the appropriate diction while speaking.
To wrap it up, you’re also teaching him decorum in speech.
6. Cultivate a Patient Attitude With Them
Raising a child with disabilities requires a heap of patience. You may think it is simple to handle until you have a child born with the marionette strings of autism. These are special children that will sweat you out. Even when they are growing up, you’ll have to always be there for them despite their poor communication skills. Not just children with autism, even those blessed with dyslexia amongst others. You need to learn how to be patient with kids.
Parents should never relent, nor retire nor repose whenever their raising children with disabilities. It is very difficult, but with piles and heaps of patience, it’ll become a normal routine of responsibility and they’ll thump their chests as proud parents.
7. Avoid Dissociation From the Outside World
Sometimes, some parents are the architects of their children’s inferiority complex. I say this because there are a lot of parents out there today who hide their disabled children at home. They have a first-class paranoia that the world would laugh at them or feel irritated by how God morphed them. This should not be the case. Instead, parents must avoid taking them away from friends, family members, and even playmates.
Children with disabilities need people to enliven them to experience smooth growth. The parents of disabled children need to educate other children who feel disgusted to stop such puerile acts. Make them understand that God’s artwork shouldn’t ever be ridiculed under any circumstances.
Parents should encourage their disabled children to mingle with people from time to time so that the cancer of the inferiority complex won’t cripple them.
Raising a child with disabilities is a true testament to parenthood. In the beginning, it will seem like God has punished you and your world is falling apart. But then, with such a kind of child, you’d be forced to comprehend that it’s a blessing to you in ways you can’t possibly fathom. You will learn to connect better with children who have never experienced love before. Your level of parental tolerance will also rise.
A parent who can raise a disabled child can help any kind of child through any form of developmental drawbacks. And any parent who doesn’t know how to raise a disabled child, with the help of the aforementioned ways, shall excel in no time.
If you’re a parent who has battled or is still battling with raising a child with disabilities, feels free to share your own experience in the comment box.