For the past, almost ELEVEN years now, my focus has mainly been on Parker’s health. Keeping this Brave Hero of ours alive has always been priority number one. I’ll admit, I’ve protected this youngest kid of mine from a lot. I am part of the Overprotective Special Needs Parent Society. In fact, I may even be it’s founding member.
When you are the parent of a medically fragile kid with special needs, it’s easy to become overprotective. Parker’s health is fragile. But his desire to be treated like a typical kid is strong. He can do much more than I’ve allowed him to try. It’s hard to shut down that powerful internal voice and not intervene, thinking that I am some how keeping him safer…..healthier. You really can overprotect until it starts to hurt your child.
It’s a common tendency of a special needs parent to hover over them and do things for them that they should be doing for themselves. That’s me. Hovering. Treating Parker as if he were younger than he really is. Denying him the opportunity to become more independent. Focusing more on the next potential sickness than about today’s opportunities for growth.
It’s time for me to readjust my thinking and not do for Parker what he can do for himself. I’m giving this perfectly capable kid of mine a list of daily responsibilities, as well as providing more opportunities for adventure. By presuming competence in Parker’s abilities, not only will Parker gain new skills, but new confidence in himself. It’s time to have the faith to allow my baby to soar.
Are you a member of the Overprotective Special Needs Parent Society? How do find balance in keeping your child healthy and allowing them to grow and progress?