Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Patience

Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs - Day 4: Patience - jenniferajanes.com

Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs – Day 4: Patience

Before I became a parent, I had no idea how many times you have to repeat yourself or answer “Why?” or show a child how to do something before they really understand how to do it. (Tying shoes or riding a bike, for instance.) Then I had my older daughter, and I began to learn patience.

When my younger daughter was born less than two years later, I knew I would need to keep growing in patience. After all, I now had two little ones to teach and train as they grew.

Then my younger daughter’s special needs came to light, and I realized I was going to do a lot more character development than I thought. It requires an extra measure of patience to raise a child with special needs.

An auditory processing problem means she may not have heard or understood you the first several times you say something, so you have to keep repeating yourself while staying calm, so that she can finally comprehend what you’re asking her to do.

Expressive language disorder can mean waiting patiently for your child to find the right words to say what she’s thinking. Sometimes that can take a while, and sometimes it doesn’t happen at all. Then you get to deal patiently with her frustration.

It requires patience to deal with meltdowns, to spend hours in waiting rooms every week, to help a child with significant learning differences with schoolwork. It requires patience to push a child’s wheelchair through gravel or sand on a field trip. It requires patience to explain to a child her right from her left—again. It requires patience to wait for answers when you’re looking for a diagnosis. (I had no idea we would still be waiting more than seven years later.)

I struggle with impatience, so learning these lessons has been difficult for me. Like so many other issues I face as the parent of a child with special needs, I have to turn my concerns and areas of struggle over to God and ask Him to help me handle them, and I have often had to ask Him to help me wait patiently.

When I’m waiting, verses like Isaiah 40:31 and Psalm 46:10 help me to focus on God instead of circumstances. And that helps me to regain my peace and gives me strength to be patient.

Patience, like peace, is necessary to this life we’ve been called to. You are not a failure because you get tired, frustrated, and, yes, impatient. You are human. Be patient with yourself. You’re still growing, and God has promised to finish His work in you. (Philippians 1:6)

Father, I get so impatient to see progress in my life and the life of my child. I want to be the parent I need to be for the child you have entrusted to me. Help me to wait on You for answers and to learn to be still in the process. Amen.

How do you see patience developing in your life as you raise your child? How do you handle waiting?

Thank you for joining me for this 10-day series of Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs. Join me tomorrow as we explore Kindness.

Other posts in this series:

If you’re looking for more great content by some amazing bloggers, please check out iHomeschool Network’s August 2013 Hopscotch! iHomeschool Network's Autumn 2013 Hopscotch

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7 Responses to Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Patience

  1. Jean Lawry says:

    Patience is a virtue, and I am so thankful I have been blessed with lots. I also love the serentity prayer, and find myself referrring to it during difficult times. Thank you for the posts, Jennifer! Just what I needed this week.

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