Physical limitations should never prevent adults from accomplishing their goals. This is true, not only in the world of work, but in the field of parenting as well.
Helpful tips can assist disabled adults prepare to welcome a new member into their family. You’ll need to make practical home modifications and learn basic child-rearing skills that can prepare you for success in your role as parent.
Making Your Home Safe
More than 9 million children end up in American hospital emergency rooms each year because of household accidents and other unintentional injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Here’s how to make your home safe for children:
- Use baby gates and similar devices to keep your child stays where she belongs.
- Install anti-tipping features in your furnishings. You should also push TVs and other heavy objects as close to the wall as possible and never exceed a piece of furniture’s recommended load rating, according to The Spruce.
- Tuck power cords, cords for window blinds and similar objects out of sight.
- Keep sharp objects such as scissors and knives in locked drawers.
- Install latches on your windows.
- Use anti-slip rugs and floor mats.
- Install grab bars in shower and tub stalls, both for the child’s sake and to assist you when bathing your little one. Bars with suction cups are easy to install, but check reviews for safety and quality prior to purchase.
Parenting 101 for Disabled Adults
Most tasks you’ll perform as a parent revolve around feeding, dressing, grooming and transporting your child. Here are some tips that may help:
- Employ outside–the–box thinking to find ways around your disability. For example, parents with reduced visual capacity can label food products with textured tape or Braille lettering to assist in meal preparation for their children.
- Browse the wide array of disability-friendly childcare products available on the market, such as bathtubs with access doors, strollers with side openings and swivel car seats.
Dealing with your child’s intellectual, emotional and social needs is every bit as challenging as providing physical care. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
- It’s important to balance options with sensible restrictions. For example, your child may want to play outside for a while, but her room is a mess. You could give her the choice of cleaning her room first, then spending an hour outside, or going outside first but coming in after a half hour to straighten up her room. This way, you teach her the importance of being tidy while nurturing her decision-making skills.
- Children model their parents’ behaviour Do you want your child to love reading? Make sure she sees you enjoying a book. Do you want her to feel compassion for the disadvantaged? Spend some of your free time helping others. Do you want her to practice healthy habits? Make sure you eat right and stay physically active (within the limits of your disability, of course).
- Whenever possible, the way you discipline your child should reflect the natural results of her behavior. For example, let’s say she raids her piggy bank to make an impulse purchase. Later on, when she sees something she would like to buy, remind her that she has spent her discretionary income already. This will teach her that her actions have consequences.
Being a parent is the key to some of life’s most fulfilling experiences. By giving it your best, you’ll set a great example, not only for your child, but for the rest of the world.
By: Ashley Taylor