Hey everyone! Since Chinese New Year, I’ve been so busy and now I have to catch up with work at school and so on, I’ve been overwhelmed by struggling to find my career path, well what I want to do in university next year, a lot of confusion and decisions to make… thus that’s why I seemed rather absent in the blogosphere. Moreover I’ve had some problems with the internet lately…
Thus, the blogging schedule is going to be a little distorted this week, (from last week in fact, since I made no ‘Weekly Photo Challenge’ post), but soon I’ll hopefully get back to my usual blogging pace. For today, here’s a little yet very instructive guest post by Jack Holland:
Ways To Boost The Morale Of Your Physically Challenged Teen
Being born with a physical disability like cerebral palsy, spina bifida or any of a host of others can be trying on any child. On teens— with the media, peer pressure, and the desire to fit in—it can be much worse.
These are the years in which your child will suffer the most from his or her handicap, because high school is dog-eat-dog. All teens receive blows to their self-esteem, but physically challenged teens may have trouble recovering from these blows, knowing that they likely won’t outgrow whatever it is that leads their peers to taunt or exclude them.
So what can you, as a parent, do to boost their morale during this troubled life period? Here are a few ideas:
• Play to their strengths.
Depending on their level of disability/mobility, there may be something physical where they can feel included and “good enough.” Swimming? Table tennis? Golf? Take stock of what they can do, and emphasize those things.
Perhaps your child can’t run, but maybe he can build one heck of an awesome model airplane!
Every girl—physically challenged or not—knows that a new hairstyle can be life affirming. The same goes for new frames on glasses or contacts, if appropriate, new clothes, or other easy, fun changes.
• Change of environment.
Children dealing with extreme physical challenges may benefit from being among their peers in one of the many alternative schools each state has to offer. If your teen sees that they are not the only one, and that a physical disability doesn’t have to be exclusionary, they may feel more at ease.
• Increased responsibility.
A physically challenged teen is forever being told what they can’t do. Why not show them what they can, instead? Give them more responsibility in the home, via chores, list-making, cooking or menu choosing, or whatever else is within their parameters. Place your trust in them to get the job done, and don’t hover.
Giving your child all the support and love you can without smothering or coddling is the ultimate gift. It’s what any child needs, regardless of level of ability. That will be the foundation upon which their adulthood will be built.
Talk with other parents in similar situations. Bounce ideas off each other. Garner support when you’re at your wits end. Above all, never give up. The teen years don’t last forever, but the positives you instil in your child will.
About the author:
Jack Holland graduated in 2001 with a degree in Social Work, and he has been helping teens and their parents ever since. He has seen a vast array of issues, from emotional disorders to drug addictions, and he is now working to help parents learn about all of the best treatment options for their troubled teens. He believes that solid treatment can help teens avoid poor choices and punishments that can ruin their lives.