Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Self-Control

Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs - Day 9: Self-Control - jenniferajanes.com

Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs – Day 9: Self-Control

Self-control. I don’t like to think about self-control. Whether I’m trying to get a handle on my chocolate consumption or my attitude, self-control is a major player, and it’s a struggle.

During this series, I’ve written about being patient, kind, loving, gentle, and more, but none of it is possible without self-control. Most of these character traits don’t “just happen.” They are the products of choices you make every day.

It helps me to remember my struggle when I’m dealing with my child, whose hidden disabilities mean a struggle with handling anger, impulsive behavior, and outbursts when her strong sense of fairness and justice is violated.

While I don’t see situations the same way my daughter does, my own struggles with self-control help me understand her predicament better. She needs to see me show self-control when I’m tired, frustrated, and angry so that she can see that it can be done. My struggles also help me to have compassion for her as she learns self-control.

I must constantly remind myself like I remind my daughter—we can’t do this thing called “life” alone. I remind my daughter of Philippians 4:13 often. I ask her, “Does that verse say I can do everything except __________ through Christ?” She giggles and says “No!” She has had the verse memorized since she was a tiny girl, but when she’s frustrated or upset about something, she forgets.

I forget too. When life as the parent of a child with special needs gets hard, it’s easy to think there’s a “but” or “except” in that verse. There’s not. I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. That includes having the self-control to be faithful, gentle, peaceful, and good, and it includes raising a child with special needs.

He is with you too, to help you control yourself and to help you raise your child with love, joy, kindness, and the peace that comes only from Him.

Father, thank You for helping both my child and me in our battles for self-control. Help us to remember that there is nothing we face that You won’t give us the strength to handle. Amen.

Thank you for joining me for this 10-day series of Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs. Join me tomorrow for the final day!

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: Self-Control

  1. Rebecca says:

    Oh, Sweet friend, I have so enjoyed this series. I don’t share the struggles in our home with a child who has some special needs for learning. Like many, I let others share and encourage me in this area. Maybe one day God will call me to share the lessons I have learned, but for now, he hasn’t. I am so thankful for you – for your words and a reminder that when I’ve covered something for the 2,000th time, my response to that child will have a lasting impact on their heart and may open a door for them in the future.

  2. Pingback: Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Gentleness - Jennifer A. Janes

  3. Pingback: Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Patience - Jennifer A. Janes

  4. Pingback: Encouragement for Parents of Kids with Special Needs: Kindness - Jennifer A. Janes

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  6. Kristin says:

    Hey there. I just found this blog via Pinterest and I hope this isn’t too soon or anything, but I love you. You are exactly the kind of patient, Godly encouraging friend I so desperately need in my life. What I struggle with the most (especially lately) is the total apathy from people whom I once thought were my friends and church “family.” They just do. not. get. it. and they have made zero effort to help me in any way, shape, or form. Thankfully, my own mother finally came around after I had a panic attack so severe that my husband called an ambulance. I blogged about my frustrations here if you care to read, but be warned, it’s very honest and a bit brutal. http://sonshineandcoffee.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/how-not-to-alienate-the-special-needs-parents/

    • Kristin, I read the post, and I definitely understand your frustration and anger. Being the parent of a child with special needs is very challenging, and it’s hard to keep it all together when you feel attacked, misunderstood, ignored, or any number of other things. I’m sending you an email right now.

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