Self Preservation Tips for Parents and Caregivers
For the ‘SUPASTARS’ parenting children with FASD
Self-healing – find yourself a hobbie, interest or activity that is just for you and helps you relax. Try to make some time for yourself every week (even if it is just coffee with a friend or a walk along the beach).
Understand and learn how FASD affects your child. Read lots, research even more and when in doubt, ask a professional. If knowledge is power then understanding is peace.
Personal health – maintain a healthy lifestyle for yourself. If you are physically and mentally well, then you are in a better position to advocate and help your child. Don’t give up!
Allow yourself to grieve for the loss of the life you thought you would have. Seek assistance from professionals if needed.
Secure funds where you can. Financial worries can increase pressure on the family so try to tap into whatever funds are available to you (for example, Child Disability Allowance). Many families find it necessary to reduce hours of work in order to provide the necessary support and supervision for their children. Seek budgetary advice so that you can live within your means.
Trust that you know your child better than anyone and that even when they reject you and say hurtful things to you, they still need you to love them unconditionally. Believe in your own knowledge – you are living it!
Accept help from family and friends when they offer it. Don’t be a martyr! Caring for children with FASD is a life-long undertaking. Take a break when it is offered to you.
Relationships – make time for other members of your family – spouse and siblings still need to know you are there for them too.
Sense of humour – try and see the funny side of things when you can, enjoy the little quirks and the literal translations. Enjoy their innocence.