I just read an article on the appropriateness of ‘age-appropriate’ rulings.
I like the article; it has the right balance of common sense and practicality and is easy to understand.
As a disabled parent it is not so straightforward as being able to get up and get the ketchup. (You’ve got to read the article.)
I have lost count the number of times my children have asked me to help them with something and I have had to explain that I can’t. I’m not kidding or exaggerating when I say it’s heart-breaking to have to tell them that I can’t.
My children have cried and begged me to get/do things for them and my heart breaks when I have to say that I can’t. They get angry. That’s ok. I get angry too.
No matter what their Physical, Mental or Emotional health my disability is here.
All too often when children make requests the default answer for parents/caregivers is ‘no’. Many people give this response automatically.
There are many things I am unable to do for my children. I am acutely aware of what I consider to be my parenting shortcomings.
So why say no if you can say yes? I learned from my Aunty Paula that it’s ok to say yes. It’s no big deal.
Think about it.
What would happen if you said yes as often as you could? This does not mean saying yes to everything, rather ask yourself why you would be saying no, and then give your children the courtesy of an explanation.
Children, by their very nature, are curious folk who long to be independent but need to feel secure and reassured.
They will of course push boundaries -it would be worrying if they didn’t!- but we are the line that keeps them [Physically, Mentally and Emotionally] safe.
I may not be able to cook a meal for my family or play football with the kids but I can kiss the hurts, wipe the tears and give them reassurance and security.
I give The Kids the security they need so that they can talk to me about anything without fear of punishment or judgment. Anything.
And they trust that I will always try my very best because they know that I do.
It is not so easy to give practical advice on how to handle particular situations because it really depends on the age of the child and on the disability you have but there is a way forward.
Talk as a family about the difficulties you face and listen to their suggested solutions; children often have an uncluttered view that can be very refreshing.
Focus on your strengths and work as a team.
(If you want to chat privately use the contact form.)