If you are a parent, perhaps you’ve wrestled with this thought at one point or another, “Am I doing enough for my kid?”
Those thoughts tend to creep into our minds, especially if our kids are struggling. Whether it be related to academic performance, their friendships (or lack of friendships), even their behaviors at home. “Is there something I could do to make things better for my child?”
Ask any special needs parent, and you might discover they wrestle with these thoughts often. Disability can be a daily struggle for our kids, and as their parents, we try to do whatever we can to help our kids. Maybe the solution is the new physical therapy approach that is helping many children with cerebral palsy, or the new speech program that is breaking through and getting non-verbal kids to talk! There is always something more we could be doing.
But we have more in common than you think, because we are parents, and because we want the best for our kids, regardless of their abilities.
So I say to you today, my fellow parent of typical children or children with special needs. Just love your kids, love them well, love them fierce.
There might be more than you and I can do, but what our kids need to most is our unconditional love. They need to know that we got their backs, that if they fall we’ll be there to catch them. If they struggle, we will gather around them and cheer them on. If they mess up, we’ll teach them the right way to follow. And they need to know we are their biggest and most devoted cheerleaders.
Every new day is an opportunity to show them that love, to build their character, to point their hearts and minds to a God that loves them far better than we can.
So let’s love our kids, love them well, and love them fierce!
Ellen Stumbo is a writer and speaker. She is the mother of three daughters: Ellie; Nichole, who has Down syndrome; and Nina, who was adopted and also has special needs. She is wife to Andy, a pastor. Visit her at ellenstumbo.com