EMOTIONS OF PARENTING CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
The journey of parenting is a tough one regardless of what sort of child you parent. There are all sorts of emotions to handle, guilt, worry, anxiety, competitiveness, feelings of fear, frustration or even resentment. Of course, there are the positive emotions too but we tend not to focus on those when life gets challenging. It’s the ‘hard’ stuff that we put under the magnifying glass and can often lead us to a place of overwhelm. Balancing money worries, work commitments our own health, friendships, sleep and wellness.
Now, magnify all of that bigger, and bigger and bigger and bigger. Then you can start to imagine what life as a parent raising a child who has ‘special needs’ might involve. Special needs could mean the child is on the autistic spectrum or have physical, emotional, social, developmental or behavioural challenges. It means that what you might ‘usually’ expect from your child – what you had planned for – is unlikely to be happening. It also means that it is most likely that alongside one challenge or disability or delay there are any number of other challenging factors as a result.
As anyone knows, parenting was never meant to be an easy journey but when the usual mile stones are not met and words like developmental delay are voiced it brings with it a vast array of complex feelings and emotions for the parent of a child with special needs. Fears, exhaustion, helplessness and loneliness to name a few. Quite often the system and society we live in contributes to this further - leading to more anxiety, stress and worry. A lack of compassion or understanding from your partner, family or school. Or balancing the needs of a special needs child and their sibling. Quite often this is all impacted further due to having to pursue different types of support - from social services, the national healthcare system or the educational system.
COACHING FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Some of the issues that you may be challenged by as a parent of a child with special needs include:
Fully accepting their needs
Becoming your child’s campaigner and advocate
Handling the education system or healthcare system
Establishing a routine or lifestyle that best supports you and your child
Connecting to yourself and fully understanding your fears
Creating awareness in your child’s school, peer group or your own peer group or family
Coaching can be used as a space from which a clear sense of direction can be identified. A place where you ask ‘what now’ and ‘how’ and look at your options in a supportive partnership which will assist you in identifying the hurdles and emotional pitfalls and lead you to discover more empowering ways to live your life.
HOW COACHING HELPS PARENTS
Coaching can help you to become more self-aware and enable you to identify thoughts, patterns and beliefs that are not serving you as a parent. Coaching can help you to find the areas of your life that are impacting your relationship with your child and support you to connect with them more fully by first connecting with yourself.
It is my passion and mission to support as many parents as possible through Raising Spirit.
I believe that as I have first-hand experience of what life is like to parent a child with complex barriers to learning and a host of physical and social challenges, I am able to share some of that vulnerability – having lived through it. I intend for my experience, compassion and empathy to support other parents of children with special needs and to make a long-lasting impact to your life.
My personal experience and understanding of what it is like to parent a child with special needs allows me to hold a unique position as a coach and complementary healthcare practitioner. My ambition is always to help you ensure your personal journey raising a child with special educational needs is met with compassion for your child but also and most importantly for you as a parent.
“Start by doing what’s necessary then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Francis of Assisi