Out with the old and in with the new…Or so they say.
We know that the New Year is all about rethinking the things we do daily, changing what’s not working and giving new things a try, but that’s easier said than done when your child has many specific needs and strict timetables relating to their care and wellbeing.
However, if you think small and manageable, and approach things with a whole heap of positivity, it is possible to make a difference. Take a look at some of the realistic resolutions we’ve put together to see if you can find some ideas that will work for you.
BE MORE ORGANISED
Well, we had to start with that one, didn’t we! We’re not suggesting you change your whole routine but why not try out just one or two of the ideas in this article. Something as simple as meal planning or organising your life in a planner may make all the difference.
SCHEDULE TIME WITH SIBLINGS
However much you intend otherwise, a special needs sibling can often get sidelined due to the more urgent healthcare needs of their brother or sister. Instead of a vague sense that you need to spend more time with them, schedule time in your calendar or planner, even if it’s something small like a quick milkshake after school or a game of cards before bed-time. Booking in time will help make it happen.
STOP READING THE COMMENTS
We love the Internet – we know it’s a lifeline for us all on our parenting journeys so we’re not going to say go online less, but how about committing to staying out of the comments or staying away from online debates. The comments section of posts and articles can be a pretty depressing place sometimes; getting caught up in online dramas or getting offended by an obvious troll’s comments is not good for your mental health and precious minutes and hours could be spent so much more effectively.
MAKE YOU A PRIORITY
Try to implement some little changes that make a difference to your own health and wellbeing. Perhaps setting a goal like running a 10k event is a few thousand steps too far (if it’s not, then hats off to you!), but trying to walk for 20 minutes a few times a week or setting a timer for a 10-minute meditation time-out could be achievable. As hard as it is, don’t let your child’s disability define you. Do something you love at home a few times a week – craft, paint, do some mindful colouring or set some time aside to Facetime with a close friend.
Either for yourself or your child. You are both doing the best you can and that is good enough.
CARVE OUT FAMILY TIME
The same as making time for a sibling, try to schedule in time that your whole family can spend together making precious memories. Start the year with a wish list of things you’d like to do and check them off one by one. Again, the key is don’t try to think too big. Family walks, picnics in the park, regular family movie sessions, game nights or a simple game in the backyard can mean more to kids than big, expensive days out.
HUG AND KISS YOUR FAMILY EVERYDAY
This should be an easy one!
CELEBRATE THOSE MILESTONES
Another simple one. However small the steps your child is taking, rejoice in what they can do and try not to obsess too hard about the things they can’t.
RE-EVALUATE YOUR CHILD’S GOALS AND THERAPIES
You may be doing this as part of your NDIS plan but the New Year is a good time to look at things with a new perspective. Is there a different therapy you would like to try? Are things working with the therapists your child has currently? What goals do you have for the year?
Create a new habit of practicing gratitude. We love the idea of a gratitude journal to help you reflect on the good things that you have in your life. Life can be difficult and testing and stressful and full of things that make you want to shout ‘why, me!’ but it’s also full of little gems like the kindness of a stranger, your child’s smile, random hugs, new books, a great coffee, beautiful blossoms on a tree. Focus on the good in each day and see the effect it can have.