Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Part 2 of 3: Family Unit Under Attack: Strengthening the middle

A strong family unit is essential in helping children, especially those with special needs, learn essential life skills. In a traditional two parent home, it is imperative that parents get rest and relaxation, yet this has become more of a luxury these days, especially in the fast-paced urban life.

I believe that parents should look to ensure that they are able to decompress an unwind daily. This makes them better parents, which makes for a stronger family dynamic where the children get the best of their parents. Achieving this balance is not hard at all, and can be done, and needs to be done. Some ways parents can rest are by taking an epsom salt bath. Put two cups of the magnesium salt into a warm bath tub and soak for 20-25 minutes. Your muscles, bones, and joints will feel refreshed, the skin gets cleansed, and any kind of bodily inflammation is soothed. Last of all, it enhances mood. 

Another self-regulation tool parents can make part of their weekly routine is to swim. That is right. You can swim on your own while your spouse watches the kids, and you can all go together to the pool and parents swim/ teach kids, as well as do do their own 'workout' in front of the kids. That provides experiential foundation for your kids to view the swimming as a parent-sanctioned favorite activity that brings enjoyment, rest and exercise. This signals to them an ingrained pathway to self-regulate later on in life.

All said, it is in resting that we get recharged and ready for work, yet it is of no surprise to learn that their is a high rate of divorce amongst those with children who have special needs. The more severe a disability or deficit, the more emotionally, and physically taxing it can be on parents, especially when they are not ensuring to rest/ unwind/ relax daily. Parents who make time for each other to unwind, and to get rest and relaxation end up becoming more effective and efficient at parenting. They are also able to work out issues quicker, and their children benefit from having calm parents.

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