Saturday, May 18, 2013

What's Missing in My Life as a Parent?

Sheila holding Joshua (who has autism) in her family picture

As a parent of a special needs child, it is so easy to put one's energies and attention on what is missing in the normal development for that child.  There is so much to consider, however, especially if you have other children who don't have a disability or special needs and their needs are just as valid as your child with the disability.

  • How do you have the energy and resources to meet everyone's needs?  
  • How do you parent each child differently and in what ways do you discipline or care for them in the same way?

There are certainly legitimate needs for a special needs child that must, of course, be met to the best of our ability as a parent.  As you would for any of your children, you ensure their health needs, social needs, educational needs, physical needs, and spiritual needs are being met while considering the developmental stage they are at.  It can be an overwhelming and exhausting task, especially if the child has time consuming needs or emotional outbursts that drain you emotionally, physically and spiritually.  All parents need support and the parent of a special needs child may need not only "one hand reaching out" to them, but two, or three or four, or more!

  • What kind of parenting supports do you have?
  • What kind of supports are you lacking?
  • How can you get the supports you need in order for everyone to develop to one's greatest potential?

As noted, there are not only the real needs of the disabled child to consider, but also the needs of the rest of the family, including the parents!  Most special needs parents do remarkable things and somewhere, they tuck in their Super Hero cape but the truth of the matter is, kryptonite is lurking in some form in every family, sucking the life out of the family and stealing the peace and joy.  For some, it may be as they contemplate who will care for their children after they, the parent, have passed away and in this case, their child may still need care as an adult.  For others, it may be trying to find and celebrate their version of a "normal family life", despite the challenges of incorporating the considerations of a special needs child, for example, doing chores as a family while also supervising a child who wanders or has considerable physical disabilities.  It can be frustrating constantly having to put off tasks when a child melts down or is demanding one's attention.

  • How do you cope as a parent?
  • In what ways are you being filled up and strengthened for the challenges you face as a parent?
  • What does your family's "normal" look like?
  • In what ways do you balance your own needs with those of your family's?
  • What frustrations do you have?
  • While considering your child's disability, what would your ideal home life look like?  

Hiring a Christian Life Coach can assist you in moving "from where you are to where you want to be" while raising your family and considering the gift of your special needs child's within your family.  Consider a coach as someone to encourage you as you "strive ahead, keeping your eyes on the prize".

Give me a call today and schedule your free coaching session to determine if coaching can benefit you and your family.  Please also let me know if you are interested in the affordable option of  Special Needs Parenting Group Coaching, which will be forming in the future.

Contact me today:  208-966-4338 or by e-mail:

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