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Survival tips for parents

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By Jan Baumel, M.S.

Looking ahead

  • Find someone you trust to talk to. It may be a friend, family member, counselor, or support group. Connecting with others can help you feel less vulnerable and increase your feelings of control. Together, gather accurate information and develop a plan of action.
  • Remember that sometimes the advice you read in parents' magazines or hear from the experts doesn't work with your child with learning difficulties. If that's the case, don't feel guilty. Believe in your own judgment and keep searching for and inventing new techniques. One mom laughingly remembered telling her mother "Desperation is the mother of invention."
  • Cultivate a sense of humor. One parent recalled his mother always telling him "Your worst day will become your funniest story." He says he didn't believe it at the time. But now when he looks back at some of the hardships of raising his kids, he's able to laugh at the absurdities with fond memories.

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.