Parenting is always an all-consuming and emotional endeavor, but it is uniquely intense for parents who are raising children with chronic health conditions. Whether that be a disability of some sort or a medical condition that changes the way that their child must move through the world.
I get emails every day from mothers who are raising children with additional needs – physical or mental disabilities, anxiety or depression, severe eczema or allergies, Autism, Type 1 Diabetes, long-term toileting or feeding issues, ADHD, learning disabilities, and more.
Sometimes these lifelong conditions are diagnosed, sometimes they are just something that you sense in your gut is a little different about your child. Sometimes these conditions are obvious to other people, sometimes they are quiet struggles that you and your child navigate privately.
You may or may not consider yourself a parent of a child with additional needs, but I still think you will find many of the takeaways in this episode applicable to the unique children that YOU are raising, so I hope you will listen to the end and consider at least one way that you can better navigate the personalized needs of YOUR children based on the insights shared today.
Today’s guest is Andelin Price, a mother of six who is raising a son with Type 1 Diabetes, a lifelong condition that must be carefully managed every single day. Andelin’s son was diagnosed when he was 7, and he is now 18, so she has been navigating this world of parenting a child with a chronic condition for over a decade and has insights that I believe translate to parenting children with a wide variety of conditions and needs.
Three Takeaways for Raising Children with a Chronic Conditions
- Your child’s struggles are not your fault, and it is not about you! If you blame yourself for their overall condition or for little missteps along the way as you are caring for them, you are using up precious energy that you could be using to support them better instead.
- See your child first. Talk about their strengths and characteristics and humanity first, before defining them by their condition or struggle.
- Say yes as often as you possibly can–even if you are scared. If your child has some unique medical, social, or other needs, ask yourself, “How can we make this work?” when presented with an opportunity that will take him or her AND YOU outside your comfort zone.
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What did you find most helpful in this podcast about raising children with chronic health conditions? Let me know in a comment below!