Being a parent is incredibly rewarding… but also extraordinarily hard. Being a parent to a child with a condition like Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) brings with it its own unique set of challenges. Whatever the stresses and strains of your parenting journey, it’s likely that they’ve been exacerbated by the current pandemic and lockdown. Here we’ll look at some of the greatest enemies of effective parenting while on lockdown, as well as what you can do about them.
This is something that most parents struggle with anyway. However, it’s safe to say that we’re all especially stern self-critics while under lockdown. We might see images of harmonious households on social media or parenting blogs. But while others are baking banana bread, you’re trying to stop your youngest from super gluing themselves to your coffee table. Try not to fall into the trap of comparing yourselves to other parents- especially not the stage managed images that you see on social media.
Parenting is a stressful enterprise under the best of circumstances. But when you’re sharing a small space and trying to live your lives in the midst of a pandemic, this can severely heighten your existing stress levels. Left unchecked, stress can lead to cabin fever and make parents become irritable and short tempered with their significant others and even their kids.
Make sure you have an infrastructure in place to relieve stress. Whether it’s a vigorous home workout, some cannabis concentrates or a long hot bath. There are no wrong answers.
The coronavirus lockdown has been hard on all parents, but those with autistic kids have been affected profoundly. Disruption is anathema to most kids on the spectrum, and the lockdown has created a great deal of disruption to the patterns and schedules that many kids crave. As such, their parents are learning to live in a state of heightened anxiety. They may constantly feel as though there’s something terrible just around the corner, even when things are going well. It’s up to you to find a way to curb that anxiety together and use whatever advice and resources are made available to help. Of course, parents will also live in a constant state of paranoia that they or their kids have somehow contracted the virus every time they feel a tickly cough. Which is why it’s so important to take proper precautions when going outside and keep washing your hands properly.
All parents live in a near-constant state of paranoia. They always feel that there’s something moe they could or should have done. They’re almost never able to congratulate themselves on a job well done. And when you’re trying to protect your kids from a threat you can’t perceive, this can only add to your feelings of self-recrimination. But this can only serve to drag you into a spiral of self-blame and depression. Start every day with an affirmation. Tell yourself that you’re doing your best under extremely difficult circumstances. Because it’s true! And you deserve to cut yourself a little slack.
This is a contributed post and therefore may not reflect the views and opinions of this blog or its author.