PARENTING A CHILD WHO CANNOT SPEAK RAISES MANY KINDS OF EMOTIONS
Having a child or young person who has situational difficulties in speaking can raise many difficult and conflicting emotions for parents and others close to the child or young person. Many parents fear and worry about how their child will manage in kindergarten, school, with friends and in hobbies if they cannot speak. Will their child make friends, will he or she be teased or left alone? These are common worries of parents with children who have situational difficulties in speaking. A parent would like to protect their child from anxiety-causing situations, but at the same time, let go and encourage the child, and trust that they will be fine. Unsuccessful attempts at encouragement and increases in a child’s anxiety can challenge the belief that the situation could go better the next time.
When a child’s situational difficulties in speaking have just begun or parents begin to suspect it, often parents become filled with uncertainty and worry. Will my child receive enough help and support for their difficulty? Am I able to sufficiently support my child in this matter? What kind of support and help will I need for my parenting? Do I have people around me who will support and help me and my family? How will I take care of myself so that I can cope and support my child?
Situational difficulties in speaking are relatively rare, therefore it is possible that your circle of acquaintances has no other parents who have children with the same difficulty. accessing care may be difficult and waiting may be frustrating. Children who have situational difficulties in speaking are usually quiet and invisible, therefore their needs can be pushed to the side in the busy daily life of kindergarten and school. A parent may find it difficult or embarrassing to always be their child’s voice for teachers and carers when reminding to pay attention to the perspective of a child who cannot speak.
A CHILD'S DIFFICULTY IN SPEAKING CAN RAISE FEELINGS OF GUILT
Many parents may feel guilt that they have caused their child’s difficulty. It is currently known that the reasons for situational difficulties in speaking are many, which include a genetic genetic susceptibility as well as other predisposing factors. A parent may blame themselves if a child’s difficulty in speaking began, for example, when the child began kindergarten or school, or when parents separated: Could I have supported my child better? Why was I not more support to my child when the difficulties in speaking began, or when it got worse? It is important to remember, however, that a child’s situational difficulty in speaking is never a parent’s fault. Many unpredictable things happen in life, and it is impossible to prevent or predict these.
It is very important that parents remember that they are usually very important people to their child. Instead of self-blame or asking ‘what if’ questions, it is important to think every day about your strengths as a parent: What makes me the best parent for my child? What are my strengths? What can I thank myself for as a parent and what am I proud of? What would my child say is the best thing about me as a parent?
IT IS IMPORTANT TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR ABILITY TO MANAGE
When your child has situational difficulties in speaking, it is important to take care of your own ability of manage and your resources. What helps me to relax and gather strength? When can I rest? What things and what activities give me strength? Who can I ask for help? Taking care of your own resources is necessary for you to be able to take care of your child’s needs.
One way to strengthen your ability to cope is giving and receiving peer support. This support can concern worries about difficult emotions worries about parenting but also sharing joyful moments with other parents is empowering and can lighten the worries connected with a child’s situational difficulties in speaking. Puheeksi ry wants to support parents’ wellbeing and coping mechanisms by developing peer support for families with children who have situational difficulties in speaking.