It’s Tuesday again, which means ANOTHER Top 10 Tuesday. Today is a special day since I am joining other bloggers around the blogosphere for the Special Needs Blog Hop. I am excited to get to be a part of this. So today we will be talking about the top 10 worries and frustrations for parents of high and special needs. I am also adding a bonus mindset shift for us to use when we start to feel the worry or frustration. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
1. My Kid Won’t Fit In.
This can be hard. None of us want our children to be teased or bullied, and sometimes it can seem overwhelming. We know we can’t control other people, but we want to fix things and make everything better for our children. Mindset Shift: Spend time with your child, talk to them and compliment them often. Bring their strengths to the forefront and show them how others can help them where they need it, after all, isn’t that what life is about???
2. IEP Meetings are the Worst!!!
We worry about what will be said. We worry about them taking away some of the accommodations made. Sometimes, we even worry they will decide our child no long qualifies for an IEP. It can be daunting and scary and very frustrating. Mindset Shift: When I am worried about goals or things with therapies or our IEP I remind myself how lucky we are to even have these things called IEP’s in our schools. Think back to when our parents were children, chances are, they didn’t have the same help as we do now. Reminding myself that others have gotten through it before without as much help, means I can certainly get through this, and be thankful for it.
3. I’m Sooo Tired!!!
This was me, from the time Kira was about 2 until… well… somedays it is STILL me. It is draining. There are extra things to think about or consider, plans need to be made with care. We don’t get a break unless they are sleeping, and then, well there is all the work I couldn’t get done while they were awake. It really truly can be exhausting. Mindset Shift: I may be exhausted, but I am not alone. There is never a dull moment, and I have a child who loves me unconditionally. That is sooo much to be thankful for.
4. My House is a MESS!!!
Messy houses can cause a lot more unpleasant issues. It starts with being too tired to clean, then snowballs into the kids tearing up paper and hoarding it under their beds, and the couch, and everywhere else. Dishes piled in the sink, and we won’t even talk about the last time we actually cleaned the products out of the medicine cabinet. We feel overwhelmed, we stress out, we react to the stress which stresses us out even more. I have been there on more than 1 occasion. Mindset Shift: We have a house to live in, a roof over our heads, food in our refrigerator (and possibly smeared on the walls), we have love and laughter and family. Things really could be much worse.
5. My Child Will Never Live an Independent Life
Remember when your child was first born or came into your life??? All we wanted to do was spend every moment with them. We wanted to take in all their firsts and be there for every lesson learned. When you received the diagnosis, you may have tried to shrug it off that it is no big deal. They are your child and you would do anything for them because you love them. Then some years down the road, you start to realize THIS is all your life will ever be. Your child will never experience an independent life on their own, and you will never stop being “mommy” Mindset Shift: It can seem daunting to realize that you will always be the one who takes care of your child. Taking a look at it another way, YOU get to help your child enjoy life. You get to be there and see the joy and happiness others don’t get to see. You get to take part in the Amazingness that is pure joy. That is pretty Awesome!!!
6. My Child Will Never Experience….
From the day we found out this bundle of joy was coming into the world, we dreamed of fun and laughter and success. We had a plan already in our minds for how this was going to happen. We had a career already picked out for them, the names of our grandchildren, and maybe even the house we’d visit them at envisioned. Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but really we dream very vividly. When something crushes that dream, it can make US feel like we failed. Mindset Shift: We need to be flexible and remember, success looks different to each of us. The life you were planning was not yours to plan to begin with. If we can connect with our children and find out what they want and what makes them happy, we might just find they are as happy as we wanted them to be.
7. I Never Get A Break
Now, I’m going to step on my own toes with this one. Do you spend so much time saying things like “Well no one can handle my child” or “my child has needs and I don’t trust them with anyone but me”??? Oh wow, I do this a lot, but when I was writing the list it very clearly came to me the way I need to change my mindset… are ya’ll ready for this??? Mindset Shift: Quit being a martyr. Yeah, that was pretty intense, but just hear me out. I’m not saying drop your kids at the drop in daycare and relax, but we all have that one friend or family member who is always saying, ya know, if you ever need a sitter, I wouldn’t mind. We say to ourselves “oh I don’t want to inconvenience anyone, my kids won’t want to stay or other excuses we make for ourselves. STOP, find 1 person you feel comfortable at least teaching the ways to take care of your child and get a well-deserved break. You can even stay home and just take a bath, or an uninterrupted nap. Just get a break.
8. (Fill in the blank) Subject at School is too Hard for My Kiddo.
The struggle is real. We want our children to be successful, have an education, and the foundation to a great life ahead. Then we realize, reading with our child makes us crazy. We get frustrated that we can’t help, and then worried they won’t have as amazing of a life without said skill. Mindset Shift: We need to remember the whole strengths and weaknesses thing. I understand, it is frustrating that your child has trouble with reading, math, or writing, but, your child does have strengths. Reminding them of the things they are good at, and encouraging them to keep trying can make all the difference. Make sure they also know how much you believe in them. If it helps, also think of ways your child can excel in life with their strengths, you might start to see what you were so worried about really isn’t that big of a deal.
9. I Just Want to Fix Everything For My Child.
Every parent can relate to this one. We all want our children to have an amazing, happy, and fulfilling life. I find it hard to watch when my children are hurt or frustrated. We want the magic wand to just make it all better. Mindset Shift: So, while we can’t always make everything all better, we can help our child with the problem. While our children need to learn problem-solving skills, that doesn’t mean they need to figure it out completely on their own. Help your child brainstorm ideas and solutions. Show them how to figure out which ideas would work best. Then, be there when they try out their solution. If it works, praise. If it didn’t work teach resilience and go back to the drawing board to find another solution.
10. I Feel Like This Is All My Fault.
This is one that we all go through at one point or another. We all wonder, what we could have done different, or how could we have not seen this coming. Playing the blame game and blaming ourselves can cause LOTS of problems down the road too. Mindset Shift: Instead of thinking of all the ways things are bad or wrong, focus on the good. Focus on the uniqueness and the individuality your child brings to the table. Stop blaming yourself and start realizing that you have a very wonderful unique child in your care. Different is NOT a bad thing.
Those are my top 10 and the mindset shifts to help you change the way you see things. Did you get any aha moments in these??? Let me know in the comments.
Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia!