Being a parent often feels like stepping into the unknown. Once you meet your little one for the first time, you can be filled with questions and sometimes even doubt if you can do well as a parent. These emotions are even so magnified if you discovered that your child has special needs.
As a parent, what are the things you need to remember when caring for a child with special needs? What are some helpful mindsets to keep you going?
Know that you are not alone.
When parenting a child with special needs, you may think that you are quite isolated in your journey. It can be uncommon to find parents who can understand what you are going through, or challenging to seek advice from those who haven’t walked the same path.
It is important to realize that you are not alone in your journey. There are several foundations, organizations, and local groups you can join to gain support in parenting a child with special needs. Seek those communities to gather encouragement especially in tough moments.
Never compare your child.
Everything about your child and your situation is unique. Even with the same diagnosis or developmental condition, all children will vary in their progress. Do not compare your child to other children, as this will affect your mental and emotional health.
Remember the familiar quote, “Comparison is the killer of joy”. Choose to be joyful about who your child is at the present and cherish your moments together.
Celebrate your wins, big and small.
When parenting a special needs child, all kinds of wins matter. A smile, a reaching of a hand, or even bouts of laughter is something to be thankful for every day. This is a gift that many parents of special needs do not notice right away–the chance to be grateful for the little victories.
As a parent of a special needs child, you have the opportunity to notice and celebrate all kinds of victories. Whether it’s a milestone or a small special moment, there is always something to be happy about despite the challenging times.
Hopefully, these things encourage you on your walk as a parent of a child with special needs. With the right mindset, you are capable of raising a child filled with potential.