Add special needs parenting to that mix, and it often feels impossible.
I can count on one hand – er… 2 fingers? – the friends who really get it. Who support me as a mom and understand me as a special needs parent, too.
Here is my advice for everyone else – with 4 simple steps to support your friends who are special needs parents…
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4 Simple Steps to Support Your Special Needs Parents Friends
1. Don’t Take Offense – I might not call as often. And I probably won’t schedule as many playdates. Or I might text and cancel at the last minute. It’s not you. It’s me. I’ll be too busy taming a tantrum to get out the door. Or too tired from a sleepless night. Please, don’t take offense. Give me grace when I’m less than a good friend.
2. Listen without Solving – Yes, I am venting about the problems of the day again. But, I don’t necessarily need a solution. I just need you to LISTEN. To look me in the eye and shake your head in understanding. To be a sounding board without worrying about solutions. To give a hug at the end, once in awhile, too.
3. See the Good in Our Kids – I know my kids can be difficult. And difficult to connect with. But I also love them and see the sparkle and love in their eyes, too. If you observe quietly for a minute you might see it, too. Please tell me if you do! I’m so often hearing about the trouble a child caused at school or the frustration in Grandma’s voice. I need to hear the positive about my kids, too.
4. Call and Text and Call Again – Check in on me, friend. I know I don’t call enough. But my lack of texts doesn’t mean I don’t need you. I just get distracted with all the doctors-appointment-managing and routine-following and meltdown-averting and… laundry. Your calls and texts help me feel less alone, even if I don’t have time to answer them at the moment.
More From Fellow Special Needs Parents:
Make sure to check out these other blog posts about supporting special needs parents from my fellow mama bloggers with special needs kids:
Supporting Yourself and Your Child with Special Needs | Natural Beach Living
Am I Going Crazy? | Every Star is Different
Tips For Supporting A Child With Trauma History | STEAM Powered Family
Special needs parents: we all need support (even you) | My Home Truths
12 Things That Special Needs Mom Needs from You | The Chaos and The Clutter
Classroom Supports & Accommodations for Kids with Hyperlexia | And Next Comes L
Finding Support: From The Wind in Your Life | 3 Dinosaurs
A Letter to Parents with a Child on the Spectrum | Carrots Are Orange
Supporting a Family with High Medical Needs | Grace and Green Pastures
And check back here on the 23rd of each month for more in our Parenting Children with Special Needs series.