Survival tips for parents

When the going gets rough, taking care of yourself can help you take care of your child.

By Jan Baumel, M.S.

Flight attendants tell us: "In case of emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead bin. For those traveling with small children, be sure to fasten your own mask before assisting your child."

For parents raising children who struggle in school, there are times when the daunting task of juggling day-to-day family responsibilities, work, and the special needs of kids with learning difficulties can feel totally overwhelming. Those are times when you need to take care of yourself first if you expect to be able to help your child.

Taking care of yourself

Learn to ask others (spouse, family members, teachers, etc.) for support. Be specific about what you need, firm in your method of asking, and appreciative for what others do to help. This was one of the hardest things for one mom to do because she felt she needed to be "Super Mom." Don't feel guilty. No one can do it all!

Dealing with your child

Looking ahead

Take a deep breath

Sometimes you have to slow down before you can gain momentum. You're not being selfish if you find ways to take care of yourself. You're just getting that extra whiff of oxygen so you can move ahead with renewed energy and commitment.

Jan Baumel, M.S., Licensed Educational Psychologist, spent 35 years in education as a teacher, school psychologist, and special education administrator before joining Schwab Learning. Today she is a consultant to local school districts and university field supervisor for student teachers.