Tips to Give Your Child A Voice
Updated: Apr 12
Navigating the world can be challenging, especially for a child with a developmental disability. They are most likely behind their peers in school academically and may be struggling with motor skills, processing delays, health issues, and more. In sum, being in the world is hard enough without extra challenges thrown in that can make you different from everyone else.
Inland Respite offers in-home respite care for adults and children who are dealing with developmental disabilities. We understand the challenges parents and caregivers face when caring for children and adults around the clock. Our mission is to give you a break with our companion care services. You can take the time you need to recharge so you can return fresh and ready to face the next challenges ahead. Below, we'll offer up some tips on how to give your child a voice. Contact our in-home respite care company in Southern California today!
TIPS TO GIVE YOUR CHILD A VOICE
Let Them Do Simple Tasks
When you have young children, it's super easy to just do tasks for them rather than wait for them to do it themselves. Tasks like cleaning their room, picking up their toys, tying their shoes, stirring a brownie mix, or even feeding the dogs can take small children, especially those with developmental disabilities, a long time to figure out and accomplish. As an adult, you can do these small tasks very quickly and easily because you have practice. However, if you never allow your children the opportunity to do these things, they will never learn how to, nor will they feel as if they can. Allow them the time they need and have the patience yourself to let them do simple tasks on their own.
Let Them Experience Frustration
To learn new tasks, it takes the willingness to try, to do, and to practice in order to master the task. Along the way, your child will probably become frustrated at some point. As a parent, you just want to help them when they become frustrated. However, by doing the task for them, they will learn that they don't have to do anything because you will do it for them. Remember, your job as a parent is to raise your child to be independent of you, even with a developmental disability. Keep in mind that one day you won't be there for them. By letting your child experience frustration and work through it, keeping at the task at hand, they will learn new skills that they can apply to real life.
Provide Safe Challenges
Obviously, you don't want your child to become so frustrated with tasks because of lack of progress on accomplishing them that they give up altogether. The goal of a parent with a developmentally disabled child is to provide them manageable challenges that are slightly above their current skill level. These safe challenges allow your child to take baby steps and keep moving forward in their self-development rather than have an overwhelming sense of failure. This will give them the self-confidence they need to speak up that will grow with each step accomplished.
Use Only Praise
As parents of a child with a developmental disability, we need to be able to curtail our tongues. We cannot criticize like we might others. Instead, we need to offer praise and encouragement solely without offering criticism. Criticism can make your child feel bad about what they are doing and be hesitant to try new things and test their capabilities. We also need to keep in mind that given enough time, your child will accomplish tasks; it just might take them longer than other children. The key is to meet your child where they are at.
Keep Your Expectations in Check
It can be hard not to join in the rat race of parenting. For instance, it seems like every parenting group you join, parents are talking about what percentile their children are in for growth or weight. They are talking about all of their children's accomplishments in school and extracurricular activities, such as soccer or gymnastics. They are talking about the latest birthday party for their child and all of the friends that attended. By comparing your child to children without developmental disabilities, you'll be setting yourself up for many nights of misery. Instead, you need to lower your expectations and simply be happy when your child makes progress on their own time, not on some timetable in your mind. Expect great things from your child, but be happy with the journey to them.
CHOOSE INLAND RESPITE FOR YOUR COMPANION CARE TODAY
Being a parent is no doubt the hardest job on the planet. It can be overwhelming at times, especially if your child has developmental disabilities. Luckily, you have support, and Inland Respite is there when you need a break, time to accomplish your hobbies, or just time to go to the grocery store and meet a friend for coffee afterwards. We provide rest for parents, guardians, grandparents, and family members.
Our in-home caregivers are rigorously screened, including passing a background check, and are trained in CPR and first aid. They are all experienced companion caregivers who all have a heart to help. They can assist with feeding, bathing, and just being a friend for your developmentally disabled child or adult. Think of them as a helping hand when you need it the most.
If you are interested in our companion care services offered throughout Southern California, contact Inland Respite today.