Tuesday, December 31, 2013

11 special needs parent New Year's resolutions

I resolve to try harder to encourage my child's independence. It's hard when you're so used to feeding, dressing, bathing and doing all sorts of things for a kid with physical challenges, but if you give in to helping every time he refuses to do it himself, he'll take that much longer to learn (and that much longer to detach from you).

I resolve to quit putting myself last and pay more attention to me, which will make me a better mother and my roots less apparent, too.

I resolve to be less bothered by the stares. Must get a t-shirt that says, "I assume you're staring because he's so cute."

I also resolve to keep on educating and enlightening people about my child. Sometimes, people stare because they can't see the child behind the special needs.

I resolve to keep coaxing my child past his boundaries. Perhaps he's scared of new places and experiences, and the screechfests cause heart palpitations (mine), but if I don't persevere he'll never know how great that movie, that show or that restaurant can be. With headphones, of course.

I resolve to spend more time helping my child practice the sounds the speech therapist recommends.

I resolve to not feel guilty on the days when I don't help him practice the sounds the speech therapist recommends, or do any of this stuff, because I am a mother of the human variety and there is just so much I can do.

I resolve to try harder to help my child understand that the world doesn't revolve around him, even though he requires a lot of attention.

I resolve to give my child more chores, ones he can successfully complete. Way to teach responsibility, encourage confidence...and get more dusting done.

I resolve to keep my cool when I'm on the phone with the insurance company rep making yet another inquiry about lost claims. Well, mostly.

I resolve to think less about the future—as in, worrying about what it will bring for my child. I can only try my best day by day; I cannot control how he will turn out.


  1. Great list! I think I'll come up with some as well!

  2. Great List!! As a parent of now adult special needs sons resolutions are a great thing to make. As parents we tend to be the most critical of ourselves. That we never do enough. I have found over the years that we need to just love them and do the best we can to teach them to be the best they can be. Love your blog, Vicki

  3. In addtion to all of the above, I resolve to stop comparing my child to others especially NT ones.My daughter Brittney is 5 and has PDD-NOS and is in kindergarten at a wonderful school for kids with special needs. I also have NT twin 8 year olds sons Sean and Jack who are in 3rd grade.

  4. Ellen....
    I will "see" you next year, Friend!! ;)

  5. Love this list. Think I'll take your lead on some of these too, happy new year! xx

  6. Thanks for publishing this honest, realistic list. It is so easy to get stuck in thinking that if one little thing goes differently than planned, then the whole thing was a waste of time. Not so! I recently posted something similar on my blog (which focuses on the siblings of people with disabilities), and I appreciate that others share my struggle with "Superwoman Syndrome".

  7. This is a really good list of resolutions. It's specific, but applicable to parents of kids with all kinds of disabilities. I hope 2014 is a great year for you, Max, and your family.

  8. Love the list, Ellen. Most of these will be on my list along with a resolution to teach the same independence to my NT daughter whom I've sort of coddled due to guilt and worry. Thanks for sharing; it's a relief to know I'm not the only mom out there feeling like this!

  9. Love this post. My resolution is to find a private PT who will work with Amelia. She needs extra physical therapy because she only does 30 min a week with me- not enough for a baby with gross motor delays.

  10. Awesome list. We should all have this same one. Thanks Ellen.

  11. My Resolutions:

    1. Take initiative more often and don't be as shy.
    2. Be more organized.
    3. Practice flute for 30 min/day.
    4. Try not to be scared of new things.
    5. Float a few ideas and don't fear rejection as often.
    6. Learn how to compromise.
    7. Take responsibility for more.
    8. Stop fearing failure. It happens to everyone, no matter how experienced or talented (unless you're God).
    9. Keep calm as often as possible.
    10. Learn how to accept defeat and victory gracefully.
    11. Don't be afraid to stand out.
    12. Put a little more food dye in the cupcakes.
    13. Don't scrap "failed" projects too soon.
    14. Set a better example for the sixth graders (I think) that look up to me.

    This year, what I want most is to get over my fear of failure.


Thanks for sharing!

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