It is not easy to be the parent of a child who is struggling. As a parent, we feel what they feel, we could be frustrated, worried, or just sad that life is so difficult for them. But what are the things that we all need to remember when we are the parent of a child who is struggling?
You Are Not Alone
It might feel that way sometimes. But the fact is that so many children or teenagers are affected by an emotional, mental, or cognitive behavioral disorder. There are many families who are hurting all across the country and around the world. But it’s important to remember there are plenty of other people who understand the challenges and have been there. This is why there are an abundance of speech, occupational, and ABA therapy services available to provide that crucial support. But we can feel when we go through the emotions, that we are on our own. But when you start to work towards professional support or even personal support, it’s surprising how many others are going through the same thing, and going through the same emotions.
You Are Not a Bad Parent
One of the biggest things that we all believe when our children are going through something like this is that we must have done something at some point to set them down this path. If your child is struggling with their health, or they are going through a bad time, you cannot blame yourself. You must remember that it’s the same as being a child that is struggling, they aren’t a bad kid.
The reality is that you are just going through a tough time at the moment. When you start to blame yourself, this makes the situation more difficult and painful. If you think you are to blame, you subconsciously distance yourself from your child. So instead of investing your energy in something as counterproductive as self-loathing, when you start to treat yourself with compassion, you will have a better emotional base to deal with the problems.
You Don’t Need to Wait for a Professional Diagnosis
Something that many families do is wait for the medical experts to give the go-ahead. When we are waiting for some sort of confirmation, we can feel in limbo. But the reality is that you and your child are in limbo together, so you can start to do things right now to make everything better for the family as a unit.
For example, you can all work together on stress management techniques, focus on making your lifestyle better and happier, while also making sure that everybody has fun. It’s hard to focus on having fun or enjoying ourselves in these situations, but we all have to realize that life doesn’t stop while we are waiting for results. We can take the first steps right now.
It’s not easy when our child is going through such a hard time, but we must realize that as we go through these things in life, we are not alone. The best thing we can always do is remember to be the best parent we possibly can, and sometimes this means not listening to that little voice inside our heads.
*Photos by Keira Burton