Nurturing a child is a full-time job that every parent cannot evade. One may have the instinct to do it, but once a chronic illness creeps in, it can leave you feeling helpless. Parents who have an impaired child end up blaming themselves for it. They spend most time wondering if they are the cause of the condition even when it may have come naturally.
The society too, may look down on a parent who has a disabled child blaming them for the condition. Even if some mothers put their children at risk of chronic diseases while pregnant, not all situations are from genetics. We will look at the stress associated with raising a disabled child and ways of managing feelings such as anger and self-blame to help anyone in this condition.
How does illness of a child affect a family?
When your child has a condition such as epilepsy, the frustration that comes with the illness may make you forget about your life. You may feel that how they turn out in the future solely lies up to you. It is possible for you to give up everything you love including your career to be part of every aspect of their life. In as much as you love your baby, doing everything on your own without accepting help from others because you blame yourself for their condition may add more pressure at home.
Over-obsessing about the future
None of us knows what tomorrow holds. Such a parent may find themselves over-obsessing about what the future for such a child. You may put pressure on a disabled child as you worry if your nurturing skills will affect how they turn out later in life. The confusion of wondering if your child will fit in a regular society when he grows up may overwhelm you.
Blaming yourself for the condition of your child may affect how you raise them. Your moods may change your child’s mentality since some can tell when you are stressed out.
In a situation where one child is disabled among healthy brothers and sisters, the other children may feel neglected due to parents focusing more on the disabled child. The parent might not know how to balance their time and attention on all of the children as they worry about what to do to make the disabled child comfortable among the rest.
Incurable illnesses come with high medical bills that can stress out a family. You may need to hire a nurse to take care of your child when you are at work and go for appointments regularly. This may come with expenses that may financially strain the family.
Finding an appropriate school for your disabled child can be a challenge as you continuously worry about bullying and stigmatization. You may find yourself placing your child in different schools almost every term because of not locating the appropriate facilities for the development of your child.
What are the symptoms of stress associated with illness?
Parents suffer different stress levels depending on the circumstances surrounding the child’s disability. While some get physical symptoms such as fatigue and insomnia, others experience behavioral signs like lack of appetite and social isolation. A parent may feel demotivated and helpless when they don’t know how to handle their sick child. This may lead to drug abuse as you try to feel better.
How can such a parent manage stress?
Get to know everything there is about the condition of your child. Apart from the information from the doctor, you can do more research on the internet and books regarding the causes and symptoms of the illness. Getting such kind of information prevents self-blame as it prepares you for your child’s reaction. You can also visit a psychologist to empower yourself for tough times ahead. You can share this information with other family members so that they can better understand how to cope with the situation at home.
Get support for unhealthy habits
Having a sick child is not an excuse to add more problems to your family. Stop relieving your frustration with liquor and join alcohol rehab in Brighton to break the habit of drinking. You may be confined to rehab for a month but this will help you learn how to handle your sick child better rather than looking for a solution in alcohol.
Seek financial help
Fortunately, the government is doing everything it can to support families with disabled children. Find a government program to help you with economic challenges to avoid putting too much pressure on a spouse to settle the unending bills that come with medication. Charity organizations are also present to help you raise funds for the child’s illness. Do not fight such a burden alone when you can get help from well-wishers.
Working as a team
Cooperation among family members can minimize the pressure at home. Teach your children to work as a team as you delegate different duties for everybody to participate in. Come up with boundaries for everybody including your sick child to follow. Rules help your child not to over-rely on others so that they can believe in themselves for them to take pride in their achievements.
Let the other siblings develop coping strategies so that together they can care for the ill child without feeling anger caused by undivided attention. Let everybody speak out regarding different issues for you to improve your parenting skills. Find ways for your family to co-exist in harmony as you engage them in fun activities to avoid feelings of isolation.
Seek social support
Find friends to confide in so that they can support you raise a disabled child. Do not hide your child from the community. Engage them in church groups that offer support to such children to develop a sense of belonging in them. You can also use online help by seeking blog groups that share experiences of parents raising disabled kids.
Raising a child with an incurable illness is harder than taking care of a healthy child. This requires commitment, hard work, and confidence. Quit feeling that you are to blame for their condition and work towards giving them a standard life. The strategies discussed above will make the community appreciate and commend you for your efforts. Instead of spending days pitying and blaming yourself, find ways to nurture your child believing that disability is not inability.