Parenting with an injury


Mother's_LoveRaising a child can be difficult enough without an injury or an acquired disability.

Add a work place injury physical or psychological and raising children can feel like a nightmare.

After an injury most parents find their parenting style changes, they accommodate their new situation into their parenting and adjust. So does the child, and with anything else, this can have good results, or bad. The tool to making parenting after one or both parents have had an injury is always the same. Think about what you are doing plan a new strategy, be open and honest with your child (given their age and capacity to understand) and seek help if you need it.

The following comes directly from:Raising children

Parenting with physical disability at a glance

  • One in six children aged 0-14 years live with a parent with disability.
  • There are 380 000 Australian families with at least one parent with disability.
  • Overall, more single parents rate their own health as ‘poor’ compared to parents in couple families.

Challenges of parenting with physical disability

Parents with physical disability can still experience a fairly high level of prejudice. Some people believe that people with disability won’t make good parents, or that their children will be subject to a substandard family environment and level of parenting.

For many years this has stopped parents with disability from accessing support services because they’re frightened their children will be removed, or that their ability to be a good parent will be questioned. But there’s no evidence to support the view that having physical disability will result in a reduced ability to parent.

Studies have actually indicated that, in most cases, children of these parents can develop skills and qualities that are absent in other children. These might come from developing a deeper understanding of difficulties and hardship, learning to give and take pleasure in helping with family chores, and respecting and understanding responsibility.

Because of their disability and the ways their families adapt, parents with disability can actually raise children who have a better insight into life and caring than many other children of the same age.

Social disadvantages
In the past, people have believed that disability makes it hard to get by in society – that it’s difficult to get an education or a job or have a family. The opposite view sees society failing to meet the needs of people with disability. These needs include the desire and the right to have a family.

Society fails people with disability by not providing the right kinds of services and facilities in the community to make these goals achievable.

A lack of services makes it hard for parents with disability to cope. Typically, these parents deal with undue hardship for the following reasons:

  • There’s not enough respite or home help, and there’s a lack of support services within the community to meet their day-to-day needs.
  • People working in the care sector don’t understand the needs of parents with disability.
  • Family relationships are interrupted when children are removed or cared for by others when their parents are hospitalised, ill or having difficulty.

Associated problems

Many people with moderate or severe disabilities have trouble holding down a job or simply getting through day-to-day activities, and this can make being a parent even more difficult. High rates of unemployment and poverty and social isolation – rather than the disability itself – lead to difficulties with raising children. These strains can also cause tension between parents.

Care and discipline

Some of the challenges parents might face in hands-on child rearing are related to their physical abilities.

If parents are restricted in movement in the upper body, they might have difficulty holding a child without help or carrying out general care duties, such as feeding and cleaning. If parents are in a wheelchair, they might be limited in how much toddler-chasing or tantrum-soothing they can do. Some parents’ energy levels are affected, making the already exhausting job of raising a child even more tiring.

To compensate, many parents with physical disability rely more heavily on verbal communication. This type of communication and instruction can start at an early age. Children understand they can learn to feel safe if they listen to their parents and do what they say. As children grow older, reasoning and explanation become the main tools for discipline.

Children in a caring role

Some people worry that children take on too much responsibility in physically caring for their parents. This has long been assumed to have a bad influence on the way a child is reared, because it might deny a child the regular experiences of childhood.

But many studies show that children of disabled parents aren’t disadvantaged by helping to care for their parents. In fact, it’s suggested that learning about responsibility, care and contribution helps with the development of good self-esteem because children experience a sense of worth from their role. When children have too much responsibility, it’s usually because the family isn’t properly supported by community services.

The above was borrowed from Raising children.