Being a parent can be a reward and a challenge simultaneously. This is because as much as you love your child, you can’t deny the amount of stamina and resilience that goes into making sure they’re doing well. From dealing with their anger tantrums to ensuring your child is getting a proper nutritious meal, the list of tasks that go into child rearing is exhaustive.
Likewise, there are certain instances, like caring for a child with disabilities, that can put your parenting to the test. So what can you do when you’re confronted with these situations? Here’s what you need to know:
- Understand When Your Child Has A Disability
Learning about your child’s disability can take a toll on you. This is because acknowledging and accepting that your child may have needs beyond what you can provide can be a tough pill to swallow. However, the minute you notice that your child is showing a significant developmental delay and cannot meet the general benchmarks, you need to see a doctor. There are many reasons why a child may have a disability. While some factors are genetic, others, like cerebral palsy, are circumstantial.
Cerebral palsy is a common type of birth injury that occurs when insufficient oxygen reaches your child’s brain resulting in a group of disorders. The symptoms take time, and cerebral palsy often expresses itself after the child turns two. But, once you notice that your child has trouble maintaining their balance, has no coordination, and has weak muscle tone, immediately rush them to the doctor.
They can guide you in the treatment of cerebral palsy and also determine the type and degree of the disorder. At an early stage, physical therapy can help your child to improve their strength and coordination. In some cases, medications, braces, and orthotics are used to enhance movement. There is also the option of surgery that can help restore movement and reduce deformity.
Disabilities can be hard to live with. You may need to modify your house, which involves installing special equipment like handlebars around the house to aid your child’s movement and prepare yourself for a long road filled with numerous doctor visits and follow-ups. Children with disabilities may also require extensive therapy and medication, which don’t come cheap.
So while it may sound exhausting and aggravating to deal with, you must understand and accept if your child suffers from a disorder. Furthermore, try to educate yourself more about your child’s condition. This includes asking the doctor to explain in detail, reading blogs about your child’s disability, and researching the information that can help you care for your child without neglecting or unintentionally causing them harm.
- Tackle Improper Eating Habits
Getting children to eat healthily is a challenging feat. Children are notorious for being picky with their meals and throwing tantrums if you don’t serve their favorite meal every day. As a parent, you must establish healthy eating habits no matter how aggressive your child gets around mealtime. Your child needs nutritious and calorie-rich meals that can supplement their growth and development. So, if your kid has been giving you a hard time during meals, you can use different methods to get them to eat correctly.
But, at the same time, never force your child to eat or use a harsh tone to coerce them into having their food. Using meals as a punishment can negatively impact your child and destroy their relationship with food. Consequently, this can open the door to numerous eating disorders, which are also no less than an obstacle. Depending on your child’s age, you can try shaping and cutting food items into their favorite animal. For instance, if your child likes cats, you can use a cutter to shape cucumber slices into that animal. The familiar shape can encourage your child to take a bite and may be appealing for them to enjoy.
When preparing meals, try to balance healthy and fast food items. Make sure the food you’re cooking is easy for your child to eat, has adequate seasoning, and doesn’t look unappetizing. Likewise, ensure you only eat fast food and frozen meals, like nuggets, on special occasions or once a week. Furthermore, limit the number of snacks your child is allowed to have, and if they start crying, don’t give in. Gradually, your child will learn to love the meals you serve and eat them without any qualms.
- Combat Addiction To Devices
Electronic gadgets like cell phones and tablets can be addictive. Children as young as two may be glued to these devices and spend copious hours on them. This can lead to health problems like a gap in their neck, poor eyesight, and even their mental well-being. Hence, as a parent, you must restrict your child’s screen time. If your child tends to reach for an electronic gadget, you may need to start putting them in higher places or, at most, away from your child’s reach.
Only let them use any device if you’re with them, and restrict their screen time. It would help if you put in parental controls and download exciting and refreshing content for your child to watch. There are different types of sensory cartoons online that can heighten your child’s senses. Technology isn’t inherently evil, but using these tools can interfere with your parenting.
While it’s okay to hand over a device to your child for an hour under strict supervision, leaving your child unattended with the gadget is never a good idea. But once your child ages and hits puberty, you can relax the rules slightly and give them more liberty to browse.
- Teach Effective Communication
Children need help with communication, but this is often met with roadblocks. Sometimes, your child may struggle to tell you what they want, resulting in a massive meltdown. Therefore, you must help your child learn the best way to communicate and talk to you even if they cannot form complete sentences. You should know that children are highly impressionable; the tone of voice and words you use, they’ll try to mimic them.
Therefore, always be kind and soft with your words, and never raise your voice or use a sarcastic tone to talk to your child. If your kid wants to ask you a question or is trying to tell you something, give them your undivided attention and listen carefully to what your child is trying to say. There may be numerous occasions where your child may have a public tantrum, become fussy, or cry frequently. In these situations, you need to help your child understand feelings and how to voice them. This can be tedious, and your child may need help following your advice.
Raising children requires stamina and a high level of endurance which is not easy to develop and maintain. Looking after your child can be exceptionally challenging if your little one has a disability. In such cases, your best move forward is to educate yourself and ensure your child gets all the help they need. Another parenting nightmare is trying to get your child’s eating habits in order. No matter how much your child gets agitated at the dinner table, never give in and continue pushing for healthy meals.