How to Help Special Needs Children Cope With Divorce and Separation

Helping Special Needs Children Cope With Separated Parents

Divorce can be hard on children. It can be even harder, though, on those children who have special needs. Divorce and separation are a huge interruption to the way they’ve lived their lives and they may not have the tools to cope on their own. Below are just a few ways that you might be able to help your child out.

Try to Stick to Routines

Most children with special needs thrive on routines. Even if you cannot keep your normal routine because of a change in your housing situation, striving for some degree of consistency is a must. Try to keep bedtimes, meal rituals, and daily activities going in a way that’s similar to what happened before. While nothing’s quite the same as it was, you can provide your child with some sense of normalcy.

Reduce the Emotional Stress

Reducing the emotional stress around your child is usually a good idea. For most, this means working with a good legal separation attorney and keeping all of the legal interactions between spouses solely in the legal realm. While you certainly can’t expect to totally shield your child from everything that’s going on, you can take steps to ensure that he or she isn’t exposed to unnecessary emotional stress.

Avoid Overstimulation

Don’t go too far in trying to make your child comfortable during the divorce. Suddenly introducing new things can actually have severe effects, so try to keep things as normal as possible. Don’t try to ‘fix’ your child’s emotions with grand gestures or with overly elaborate treats—this will only further confuse your child and make the situation more difficult.

Seek Out Help

Finally, it might be reasonable to seek out professional help in this situation. Finding a counselor who works with special needs children can be useful, especially if he or she also has a background in family therapy. This professional can help to give you individualized guidance that will help your child to more easily adapt to the new situation.

While you cannot make a divorce or separation easy on your child, you can take steps to minimize how uncomfortable he or she will be. You will still have to deal with changes and emotional issues, but you can blunt their impact to some degree. In time, you’ll be able to find a new normal that will let your family move on and find a measure of peace as you adapt.

How to Help Teens Struggling With Body Image Issues

How to Help Teens Struggling With Body Image Issues

As the parent of a teenager, you need to recognize the signs of unhealthy body image. If you don’t take action now, your teen’s diminished self-esteem could follow them into adulthood. Here are a few tips to help kids who are experiencing body image issues.

Monitor Their Social Media

Social media has made it easier than ever for teenagers to stay connected to the outside world. Unfortunately, these sites can contribute to body image issues. Many teenagers equate getting likes on social media with being attractive. Some will even go to the extent of editing their photos to make themselves look different. Teens who don’t receive any positive feedback often start to feel inferior. When interacting with your child, take time to discuss the importance of not allowing others to dictate their worth.

Stress the Importance of Exercise

Research shows that even a small amount of exercise can help improve body image. However, the purpose of regular exercise isn’t to transform your teen’s body. Active teens naturally tend to have a higher level of confidence. Simply working out 30 minutes a day can have a positive impact. You should also encourage your teen to become involved in sports.

Seek Professional Help

Oftentimes, parents can’t do it all on their own. If you notice your teen is dealing with an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. Inpatient eating disorder treatment will enable your teen to get their life back on track. These programs are designed to do more than just treat a serious medical condition. They also give teens the proper guidance and mental support.

Be Positive

Puberty can be a challenging event for some teenagers. It’ll take some time for them to become completely comfortable with their changing body. The last thing they need is any negative criticism about their appearance. Always strive to make your teen feel good. Nothing beats having a good support system. At least a few days a week, make it a point to eat together. Teens who participate in family meals are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

Be a Good Role Model

Whether you’re a big brother or mother, be a good role model for the teen in your life. They could view you as a source of inspiration. You should make self-confidence a big point of emphasis.

Teenagers have it rougher than you may think. Poor body image isn’t a problem that will disappear overnight. With a little help, your teen can gradually start to overcome their struggles.

4 Good Parenting Tactics to Help Teenagers With Addiction

4 Good Parenting Tactics to Help Teenagers With Addiction

Parenting is full of challenges, and you might have never dreamed that you would be the parent of a teenager who deals with addiction. While you might feel as though you did something wrong, the truth is that many teens fall prey to addiction. Your teen’s addiction might be rooted in an underlying mental health disorder, or they might have simply given in to peer pressure. Either way, these four tactics all help you to continue to be a good parent by supporting your child through their recovery.

Open Up the Channels of Communication

Teenagers tend to get secretive when they are in trouble, but this is usually a sign that they need your help. Talk to your teen openly about the things that you have witnessed that make you think that they are dealing with an addiction. As you do, make sure to use an empathetic tone that encourages your teen to open up rather than clamp their mouth shut. If you can get them to talk about their issues, it’ll be easier to help them get into a treatment program.

Give Them a Safe Environment to Begin Their Recovery

Willpower alone is not enough to help most people stop misusing drugs or alcohol. Teenagers are especially susceptible to things such as giving in to negative peer pressure if they try to recover from addiction alone at home. For this reason, you need to find them a safe place to begin their recovery. A residential inpatient program that is designed for teens helps your kid break away from the friends that they use drugs or alcohol with. It also allows them to feel comfortable working through the underlying reasons for their addiction in counseling.

Choose to Help Instead of Judge

Your first instinct might be to get mad at your teenager. You may even feel like you have raised them to know better. While your feelings are valid, you also need to remember that guilt and shame are emotions that drive addiction. If you need help figuring out how to handle your teen, then consider talking to their counselors. You might be able to take part in group and family therapy while your teen is in their treatment program that helps you know how to respond as a loving parent.

Provide a Structured Home Life Upon Their Return

Once your teen completes their treatment, they will still need to protect themselves against relapse. During the transition home, keep things simple by sticking to a set of agreed upon rules such as your teen having a consistent curfew and time to be home from school. Your teen may also need to continue to attend after care counseling to strengthen their ability to stay sober.

You can’t turn back time and go back to your teen’s earlier childhood years when you could stop them from doing drugs or using alcohol. However, you can help them to look toward a brighter future by continuing to be involved in their life. Make sure to connect with your child every day, and use the things that you learn in family counseling to help them maintain their sobriety as they mature into adulthood.

Safety for Your Special Needs Child in Your Home

Safety for Your Special Needs Child in Your Home

If your child has special needs, then you know that you need to set up unique environments to assist them in functioning safely. Your home is no different. Have you thought about house safety for special needs? Here are a few different ways to ensure that your home is safe for your special needs child.

Put Code Locks on Doors

While it’s hard to avoid keeping all unsafe products from your home, you can keep them confined to one area that is under a lock. Rooms such as those that you store your cleaning materials, furnaces, or even basements with stairs can be easily avoided by putting a code lock on the door.

It’s best to opt for a code lock over a traditional key for the lock for a couple of reasons. First, it’s easier when you’re maneuvering around your home to simply know a code than to have to stop everything and go grab a key. Second, if your child figures out the code, you can simply change it without having to change out your hardware.

Outlet Protectors

One thing that can help protect your children is homeowners insurance, which can help fund medical visits due to faulty home materials. You should also take the initiative to make your home safe. You should do your best to ensure your child’s protection from dangerous things like live power throughout your home.

There is an abundance of outlet protectors on the market that you can purchase to keep your child from being able to stick random objects in receptacles in your home.

Cover Sharp Objects

It’s important to take the time to walk through your home and look for any sharp objects. Certain special needs children will be as safe as any other child around sharp objects, but if you have a child who has a fascination with reflective surfaces or a lack of ability to recognize danger, you should cover them.

Things like metal radiator grates can be sharp enough to puncture the skin of your child. It’s best to cover these sharp objects with a specially crafted cover to ensure your child can’t see them and accidentally hurt themselves.

House safety special needs

Hidden Switches and Shut-Off Valves

When it comes to the stove in your home, it can be a real hazard for your special needs child. By having hidden switches or shut-off valves installed, you can rest assured they won’t be able to turn on the switches when you’re not watching.

These hidden switches or shut-offs should be installed in inconspicuous places. You should ensure that your child is not in the room when you reach to turn the switch or shut-off valve on or off.

House safety for special needs is a little more intricate. You have to think about everything that could be potentially dangerous if they don’t hold that instinct of fear from things like hot objects.

The above four tips are a great place to start when creating a safe environment in your home for your special needs child. You should pay attention to your child’s specific needs in all things, though. What works for some children will not work for others.

Helping Children With Special Needs With a Move

Helping Children With Special Needs With a Move

Moving is hard for everyone, but children with OCD and autism tend to struggle the most. Your child likely thrives on a routine, and moving tends to mean having to readjust to an entirely new living situation. Although your child may exhibit more symptoms during the moving process, you can use these tips to help them quickly acclimate to their new house.

Encourage Them to Help Pack

Your child with autism may be confused or upset to discover that everything they care about has been packed up. Especially if you try to do it when they are not at home. A child with OCD may also be extremely worried about the status of their belongings during the move. To help with these issues, have your child help pack their personal items. While you may handle the majority of the packing, it can be reassuring for your child to help. You can ask your child to carefully wrap breakables and organize items that go together in the same boxes.

Include Them in the Planning Process

Children with autism and OCD do best when they know what to expect. Using age-appropriate language, talk to them about some of the decisions that you make when you are working with the new home builders. For instance, you can show your child the floor plan of your new house before you move in. This will help them know where their bedroom is located. If your new home is near your old one, you could take your children there as it is being built. This way they can see the process with their own eyes.

Make Their Bedroom an Oasis

Moving to a new house usually creates at least a few days of chaos before everyone settles in. During this time, your child can use their room as a place to retreat to when they feel stressed. Plan to set up your child’s room first. They’ll be able to regulate their behavior better, when they are surrounded by familiar furniture and toys.

Involve Them with Setting Up the Rest of the House

Your child also needs to feel comfortable in the rest of the house before they can successfully adjust, and they may have a sense of ownership over certain shared items such as their video game systems.

Give your child simple tasks that help them feel more in control over how things are set up. For instance, an older child might want to organize their video games in the living room. Or a younger child may want to designate a quiet space, where they can play with their toys.

Thinking about your child’s ability to adjust to a new environment is essential during your move. Although you may need to practice a bit more patience during stressful moments, you can keep them to a minimum by simply planning ways to prevent meltdowns. By talking to your child about your plans and getting them involved in each part of the move, you can help them learn to love their new home.

The Truth About ADHD Sleep Problems in Kids

The Truth About ADHD Sleep Problems in Kids

Children with ADHD often experience sleep problems that may keep them from getting adequate rest or cause them to feel tired and sleepy in the daytime. While each individual with ADHD symptoms will likely have different levels of various sleep-related issues, here are four of the most common among children and ways to help them.

Bedtime Anxiety

While it is natural for some kids to balk at bedtime, preferring to stay up and continue playing, children with ADHD may feel anxious and uncomfortable about going to bed. This may be due to the need to rest quietly in bed or the expectation that they will have difficulty going to sleep. Parents can address this issue by providing a natural and consistent bedtime routine that kids can become accustomed to. Washing up, brushing their teeth, hearing a story or relaxing music, and praying according to the family’s spiritual beliefs can be linked in a secure network of phases that help to reduce anxiety and prepare the child for bedtime.

Difficulty Falling Asleep

In bed, however, sleep may remain elusive for these children. Relaxing their minds and bodies for the night could be challenging for some. It is important to have comfortable bedding and surroundings wherever the child sleeps. This is especially important if for children who are traveling or sleeping in an unfamiliar environment. A memory foam mattress for RV travel or home provides a secure foundation for bedtime, molding to the child’s body size and proportions for comfort. Bed linens in favorite colors or themes may also help a restless child to settle down for the night.

Interrupted Sleep

Many kids wake up at night to go to the bathroom or ask for water, but children with ADHD sometimes wake up frequently at night and have trouble getting back to sleep. They can be taught a self-soothing response to night awakenings, such as lying still with eyes closed and counting to twenty or changing sleep positions. Soft music on the bedside table might be switched on to ease the child back to sleep.


Difficulty Waking Up

Due to the possibility of restless sleep or other factors, a child with ADHD might have difficulty getting up or staying awake in the morning. A fun or supportive wake-up routine can be helpful. For example, offer a favorite breakfast food freshly served at a specific time like seven a.m. or let the child do a favorite activity like play video games for fifteen minutes before breakfast if he or she is up on time.

Supportive gestures like these can make living with ADHD a little easier. Help your child manage sleep problems related to ADHD by trying the above tips.

4 Tips to Help Children with Eating Disorders

4 Tips to Help Children with Eating Disorders

Dealing with an eating disorder is never easy, and it may be an even more sensitive issue when your own child is struggling with it. Helping children with eating disorders can be challenging, but by remembering a few tips, it is possible for you to open up your child to the possibility of future recovery.


Choose the Right Time to Talk

Talking with your child is the most reliable way to get results, but it is important to do it right. You want to pick a good time to engage your child so that they are not distracted or constrained. You do not want to engage them in the middle of a conversation because it will catch them by surprise. Be sure to choose a time when both of you are emotionally calm and will be able to sit down and discuss thing as necessary.

Explain Your Concerns

Always avoid lecturing whenever it is possible. You want to talk to them on a one on one level, as this will allow them to feel listened to, which, in turn, will encourage them to listen to you. Refer to specific behaviors and situations that you have noticed, and discuss why they may be a source of worry for you. The goal at this time is to express concerns about your child’s health.

Always be Patient and Supportive

It is natural for your child to shut you out during this trying time. It will take a little bit of time before they are willing to admit that they are having a problem. The most important thing that you can do during such a time is to be as open and supportive as possible. Listen to them and be patient as they come to terms with what is bothering them.

Look into Clinical Options

Once you and your child have opened up to the idea of looking into outside sources of help, it is important for you to begin thinking about the treatment options for eating disorders. Here, you can discuss clinics and speaking with the appropriate experts. Make sure that your child feels as involved in the process.

Like with any other such issues, speaking with a medical professional will provide you and your loved one with the most reliable long-term results. You want to make sure that your child knows you are there for them and that the opportunity to recover is always present, no matter how difficult the struggle may be for now.

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