Tuesday, May 8, 2012

10 Encouragements for Dads with Special-Needs Children

1. You will make sacrifices Children require some degree of sacrifice for parents. That’s a good thing; all children are gifts to be cherished. At the same time, having a special needs child asks for more sacrifices because their needs are different from your other children. This makes life different, but living sacrificially for your child grows you as a person. 2.You will feel hurt With that said, sacrifices are not always comfortable or easy; there’s a level of pain and loss felt when raising special needs children. It’s good and healthy to acknowledge your pain. It will cost you much more to bury your emotions. They will continue to eat at you and keep you from loving others to the fullest. It is likely that you’ll be angry with God for allowing your child to have special needs. Don’t focus on the negative aspect; finger pointing doesn’t do anything good. Acknowledge your pain and anger. Doing so gives you the freedom to handle those feelings and move forward. There’s still much more of life to enjoy with your child and even more to be thankful for. You were given this child for a reason. 3. Siblings Loving someone requires learning how to adjust to meet their needs. Remember that everyone in your family needs to learn to adjust to your child. Not just you and your wife, but your other children too. With your younger and older children, take the time to talk with them and see how they’re doing. Don’t allow for all of your attention to be on your special needs child. Work to find a balance to help meet all of your family’s emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual needs. 4. Maintain relationships This is crucial to your existence. Everything about human beings requires relationship and interacting with others. This means continuing to build the relationships you have with your wife, friends, and family, but more specifically with your child. For some, they realize they’re different from others. Don’t let that difference be a wall between them and the world, or between you and them. They need just as much love and affection as any other child. 5.Support system When you have a special needs child, DO NOT isolate yourself. Resist that feeling because you’re limiting others from helping and encouraging you. Friends and family love you and want to see you happy and healthy. Lean on them, let them come alongside you, and ask them for help and advice. It also is not rude to ask friends or parents to babysit so that you and your wife can rest. To best care for your family, you and your wife must care for yourselves. 6.Other like-minded families It’s one thing to have friends looking in to encourage you, and it’s another to have friends who have similar experiences. Being a parent of a special needs child is a unique experience and it can seem as though your family is alone in this. However, this is not true. There is another family out there going through the exact same thing you are. You just have to find them. Ask your doctor or go online to find families with this particular struggle. Connect with those folks, share your struggles, and see how encouraged you’ll be. You’ll hear how others have overcome problems and remember the times you have overcome issues. 7. Marriage unity Be grateful that you have someone to walk through this with you. She’s experiencing the same situations as you, and faces similar challenges in raising your special needs child. Remember that you’re working together and focus on all the good things. Encourage each other after a rough situation with your child. Don’t allow all of the decisions, discipline, and daily grind of life to get in the way of you and your wife. Make time to focus on each other and build your relationship. The word to remember is: unity. 8.Show them how to overcome Life can begin to feel out of control for you and your family, but that confusion doesn’t have to last. As the leader of your home, guide your family to being more orderly and set up routines. Make whatever necessary changes needed so that your family isn’t stuck. There should be hope and a forward progression in your family. Just because your child has more needs doesn’t mean life should feel weighty and overwhelming all the time. 9. Overwhelmed? Get help! Be in reality about what things are going on in your home; don’t neglect the big or little things. Doing so will help you better gage when things are getting beyond you. Remember that support system? Talk with them about your problems and get their feedback. Maybe get them to pitch in with simple chores around the house. Never feel that you are alone and that it’s up to you to make things better. Sometimes, it also might mean going beyond your family for help. It’s okay to talk with professionals or people who have broader experiences with your child’s type of needs. 10. Enjoy life Be thankful and excited that you are alive and are with those who love you. Remember and appreciate your family who you share and make memories with. Help your family live abundantly within your home, but also outside those four walls. Go on adventures together and explore new things. The very fact that you’re together is reason to do everything possible to enjoy and celebrate each other. Every day is a new opportunity to do that. Published by Tony Dungy


  1. Very nice, thank you. I'd like to cross post this giving you credit of course to my blog. Barry

  2. Very Nice, thank you! I'd like to cross post this to my blog, if you don't mind. Barry


Thanks for taking the time!