Parenting and Parenting Special Educational Needs

By Glenda Erwee, Adv Dip, BACP Reg, Psychodynamic Psychotherapist

As parents these days we are expected to be available emotionally and physically to our children at all times. How realistic are modern day expectations on us and where is the parental support that is truly supportive and without judgment? The pressures of modern day family life are more extreme than at any other time before now. Parenting brings up our feelings and memories of our own childhood and we either try to parent exactly as our parents did or try to avoid certain parenting tactics or styles with which we may not have agreed. This can often leave us feeling stuck, pigeon holed and struggling to find our way with our children and partners.

If you have a child with Special Education Needs or going through the diagnosis process, this can bring up further difficulties. The trajectory of what you had hoped family life would be changes significantly. The confusion and frustration of the assessment process as well as adjusting to the ever changing landscape of your child’s world can be exhausting and frustrating. I have found that there is lots of support available for the child going through the process, but not much to support for the parents whose life is changing alongside their child. Parents experience a range of emotions during this time, from frustration and anger to denial and grief. It can be a complicated time and often quite isolating as others around you may not understand or support a diagnosis and the subsequent systems and processes you have to put in place as a family.
I have supported many families going through the diagnosis and subsequent changes to parenting and family life. I have found time and again that having a safe space to express your feelings and thoughts can greatly enable adjustments to life to move along smoother, for you to experience a fulfilling family experience and greatly improve your relationships within the family.

‘I have taken so many positive changes from my time with Glenda, particularily the effect (counselling) has had on me and my relationships with those close to me, especially my relationship with my son’ L, 45 years old, male