Signs of stress while parenting a learning disabled child
Parents of children with learning disabilities often experience emotional challenges and stress. They have predictable periods of stress as they adjust to the demands of parenting their children. Here are some common signs of stress while parenting a learning disabled child:
Denial of the child’s disability
Certain parents deny their child’s learning disability. They may avoid talking about or offer alternate explanations to the problem. They may behave as though everything is okay and ignore the child or their learning problems. They may also blame the child for their poor school performance and think that their child is lazy or does not put in enough effort.
Anger about the child’s problem
Anger is yet another common reaction in parents of children with learning disabilities. Parents struggling with anger may become argumentative, demanding, and verbally aggressive when dealing with the child’s underachievement. They may project their anger toward a teacher, their spouse, or their child. Some may be angry with themselves over the child’s disability and their inability to fix the problem.
Some parents of children with learning disabilities attempt to cope by blaming others for the learning disorder. They may say that their child is not learning because teacher is not doing her job. This stage is very difficult and stressful when spouses disagree about the child’s disability. Further, the blamer may be unable to get past blaming to focus on resolving the child’s learning problems.
Grief and Parents of Kids with learning Disability
Some parents of learning disabled children go through a grieving process that begins when they learn about the disability. Parents who grieve over their children’s disabilities are usually concerned that their children may struggle for the rest of their lives. They may worry that their child will not be successful in life because of the disability. Parents may feel new grief over the years if their children have difficulty at various milestones when other children succeed.
Worry among parents
Worry and grief often go hand-in-hand in parents of learning disabled children. Parents may worry about their child’s self-esteem; achievement and ability to make it through high school; whether the child will learn to read, do math or perform important life skills; whether they would be able to have a successful career and normal adult life.
Coping with the stress of parenting a learning disabled child can be a challenge, but it is also a skill that can be learned and strengthened with practice. You can look for strategies to reduce stress after assessing yourself with a screener test.