Finding Your tribe & Finding Yourself, by Christina Calk
Parents who are raising children with special needs, including those with physical, learning or emotional challenges, may find themselves feeling overwhelmed. The importance of pairing up with other families who are facing the same difficulties cannot be understated. No one understands the stressors better than someone who is going through the same or similar experiences. Schedule play dates, meet up for lunch or plan dinners together. Your children will benefit from social interaction and your family can develop a bond through sharing trials or what you have overcome through difficulties you each have faced. Another important aspect of parenting special needs children is taking time out for you. Far too often parents feel guilty for participating in hobbies or outing without their children, yet planning time for yourself is a very healthy choice and can reduce stress. Additionally caregivers need to make time for themselves in order to keep their self-identity as an individual strong. Building your identity through your hobbies, such as playing an instrument, writing, painting, running, making crafts, volunteering at a church or community organization, etc. can help you pass on a legacy of strength through trial. Not giving up on your passions can even show your children that you are an individual who is not only their parent but a healthy person.
Christina Calk is the Author of Perseverant Parenting, and Board certified Biblical Counselor.