Anxious parents at Christmas?
Feelings about parenting a child with special needs. Who cares for the parents?
A parent’s reaction to their child’s developmental or learning disability varies between individuals. Some may feel very early on ‘why me, why my child?’ and then to progress between shock, anger, sadness and eventually adjusting to their child's disability. It does not mean that we are never sad, or even embarrassed at times, but we continue to try and look at the many positives our families have.
We can potentially go in and out of a kind of ‘chronic sorrow’ and for some this lasts longer than others. Mothers and fathers may not ‘grieve’ at the same time or at the same intensity or same way. We are all different. We all have triggers that force us into a chronic sorrow state which is all part of our accepting and coping with our situation.
Counselling gives us extra coping strategies and builds our confidence as a parent and enables us to move forward in our lives and accomplish the things we want to do. Many people come to counselling not because of their disabled child but because they want to feel better equipped to deal with the child’s challenging behaviours, relationship difficulties, family, work or life in general. Counselling takes away loneliness and offers people hope if they are willing to engage in their own self-help process.
Research tells us that parenting a child with special needs can bring higher levels of stress than other families and can bring a low quality of life, many pressures and demands, exhaustion, coupled with varying levels of support the parents have around them.
If parents are better able to cope the impact is passed to the children and benefits the whole family.
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About Julie Wales
Julie Wales specialises in counselling for Parents & Carers who are caring for someone with special educational needs or disability, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Parenting and family support experience to offer people that come to counselling. Christmas can be especially stressful. My approach is to give positive coping strategies.