Let’s face it. For those of us who have kids with special needs AND chronic illness, there are some days you need a mental health moment. Or a zillion.
Just keepin’ it real.
Lori Rappaport, PhD., has put together 10 tips to help cope with the hard days, and celebrate the triumphs.
I know that all Moms in the trenches of having a child with chronic illness have their own ways to make life a little less stressful. Read Dr. Rappaport’s ideas, then share your own in the comments section below!
1. Focus on the joys and accomplishments of today—a smile, interest in a favorite toy, contagious laughter—not on what tomorrow may or may not bring.
2. Join a support group or form a relationship with a family facing a similar diagnosis/situation.
3. Nurture your sense of humor—it’s true that laughter is sometimes the best medicine.
4. Don’t be afraid to reach out to family and friends for support
5. Research and ask questions to learn all you can about your child’s condition, diagnosis and potential therapies.
6. Your feelings are valid, so be easy on yourself to not feel guilty when you have had a bad day. Find a way to release your anger, sadness, jealousy and elation.
7. Find friends who are good listeners and be prepared to leave some behind who can’t relate or who just “don’t get it.”
8. Arm yourself in advocacy. Learn about your child’s special financial and educational needs. Begin early to explore and prepare for what is and is not available.
9. Ask for help! Let go of the things with the least importance. Concentrate limited resources on things that matter.
10. Care for your other children too. Schedule and spend time with siblings as best you can.
Lori Rappaport, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in child and family issues. Dr. Rappaport has over 15 years of experience working with children and families experiencing chronic and life threatening illness.