Steps to Positively Parent Children with Special Needs

Steps to Positively Parent Children with Special Needs

What is Positive Parenting

It is an approach to parenting that aims to help children develop and manage children’s behaviour in a constructive and non – hurtful way.

Over the weekend on our Instagram live session, we discussed positive parenting as an approach to raising children with special needs. However, there is no right or wrong way to PARENT a child but, for a child with special needs, it places an extra demand on time, attention, resources, and discipline from the parents.

Here are a few takeaways from the discussion for those who missed it.

Create a Safe, Interesting, and Interactive Environment: Children need to play, explore, and investigate their world, so remove potential dangers from your home, teach basic safety and provide lots of interesting things to keep them busy. Engaging in interesting activities such as drawing, dancing, cooking, building, talking, and playing will help your child develop language, thinking, attention and independence.

Create a Routine: creating routines in the home, helps to put structures in place, create activities for the child with clear beginnings and ending, with specific behaviors linked throughout the day and repeated.

Have a Positive Learning Environment: Parents need to create time for their children to help them learn. When your child comes to you for help or to talk, it signifies the child’s readiness to learn. So, stop what you are doing and give the child positive attention even if it is just for 2 minutes or more.

Use Assertive Discipline: Assertive discipline means managing misbehavior in an acceptable way without punishment. Children perform best in a predictable, stable environment, so set clear rules and boundaries, make quick decisions and act straight away when the child misbehaves, try to react the same way every time and follow through with appropriate consequences. It helps children learn to be responsible, develop self-control, become aware of the needs of others. Ensure to encourage behaviors you like with lots of positive attention and rewards.

Have a Realistic Expectation: All children are individuals who learn and develop differently. Some learn quickly, others take longer. Learning and becoming more independent are skills different children learn at different stages. So, do not expect your child to do more than he /she is capable of. It is also important for parents to have realistic expectations of themselves. We all want to be good parents but trying to be perfect parent will only lead to frustration and disappointment.  Remember, all parents struggle from time to time

Take care of yourself as a parent: It is all about balance. Parenting is easier when our needs are being met. Adults have needs just like children do. We need to feel close and be understood. So, you must look after your own needs and ensure you to get some support, time with friends, fun and maybe even a little time to yourself. Being a good parent does not mean that your child should take over your life. If your own needs aa an adult are being met, it is much easier to stay calm and stay close to your child.

 

  1. Which of these parenting skills do you find easy?
  2. What other things are important in helping children develop?

Please share with us