Optimism and Resilience In Parents Of Children With Special Needs

Optimism and Resilience In Parents Of Children With Special Needs

Educational Psychology is the field where learning process of human being is studied. Different ways of processing, learning difficulties, study of how people understand, studying behaviour of people come under educational psychology.

Optimism is the perspective of an individual to think about the most favourable positive possibilities in a given event or situation. The concept of pessimism is in contrast with optimism, which means to have inclination towards the least favourable possibility of a given event or situation. Resilience is the capacity to cope up quickly in any kind of difficulty. Children with special needs include children who have been diagnosed with psychological disorders, for instance autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disability, cerebral palsy.

How would Optimism and Resilience play a role in parents of children with special needs? Having an optimistic perspective helps in building up of hope and positivity in an individual. Being resilient helps in coping better in a given situation. Having children with special needs is parents facing challenges along with the children. Supporting children for everything they do in their day to day life, having positive approach towards children to always motivate them, being patient with children is important aspects to be understood.

Parents are the primary care givers of children. Their perspective and approach has major effect on their children. Children are very good observers, which makes them imitate exactly what they see their parents and siblings doing. Children with special needs require assistance in many activities where parents play an important role by being there for their child all the time to make sure to give full comfort and be supportive at the same time.

Furthermore, there are other factors which could be taken into consideration when it comes to studying about parents of children with special needs like burnout, psychological well-being, hope, stress etc. These factor help in understanding the intensity of the challenges faced by the parents to keep their children in a safe place and managing their own mental health.

Scheduling counselling sessions, occupational therapy sessions, taking care of medicines, eating pattern, sleep pattern, mood changes, are few things which needs to be kept on check on a daily basis by the parents to make sure their child feels secured at home environment. To add further teaching children to socialize is one of the major task challenges parents go through. Not all children are comfortable talking, socializing, making friends, responding quickly, and it is necessary to empathize with them so that their moral does not get affected. Children with special needs understand that they are different from rest other children when they look at others in school environment or socializing. Self-esteem, self-confidence are essential traits of children which need to be uplifted and boosted with positive reinforcement from time to time.

Parents spending time playing with their children has shown positive responses from the children. Parenting includes mother and father both playing equal roles in order to help in the betterment of the child. Responsibilities need to be taken up by both the parents so that one parent is not burdened by all the work and get stressed out managing everything all together. Parents keep up their energy, smile on their faces which gives themselves and their children a hope to have a better day tomorrow.

As per researches, parents with high resilience have better coping skills and cope faster than parents who are low on resilience. Researches have shown having a broad and optimistic perspective help in motivating self and have a positive approach towards the present situation faced by the parents.

There are times when parents might lose hope, or feel demotivated to see their children the way they want them to be, because of which parents also need support and empathy from their family members and friends and social circles, which will help them gain confidence again to fight the upcoming difficulties or challenges. The physical and psychological well-being of the parents is very important to keep on moving forward. It is often observed that due to the difficulties parents face they do not keep a check on their own health which might in turn have an effect on their children.

Parents can seek Counselling in order to keep a check on their psychological well-being. Counselling brings about positivity in an individual, it helps in directing towards various options to deal with difficulties, it helps in declutter the stress and held up emotions in individuals. Taking counselling can help parents to have a better emotional regulation, catharsis, coping mechanisms etc.

The important factor is that the society needs to empathize with children with special needs and the parents as well rather than being sympathetic. There are different ways of treating children with special needs which has shown great positive outcomes in the psychological and behavioural patterns/well-being of the children. Being optimistic and resilient in challenging situations is a way of portraying the mental strength and holding up to seeing a positive change in future.

About the Author

Sharmishtha Chakraborty
Counselling Psychologist.

I, Sharmishtha Chakraborty am a Counselling Psychologist by profession. I have completed my Master's in Counselling

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