Last update: 14 September, 2022
A new family member is always a source of joy. Everyone is mobilized to welcome the little one and congratulate the happy parents. But the truth is, this situation isn't always as idyllic and wonderful as we would like. Sometimes problems or unforeseen events appear that need to be addressed and which can generate discomfort among family members. One of these is the birth of disabled children.
Understanding the effect on the family unit is essential in order to better manage the type of disability. Read on to learn more!
“Disability does not define you; what defines you is how you face the challenges that disability presents to you. "
Disabled children and their impact on family dynamics
Disabled children inevitably influence the different members and relationships that are established in the family. It should be borne in mind that this condition will cause various difficulties in the various stages of the person's life, which can result in tensions between family members.
If these tensions are not understood and managed, it is normal for several conflicts to arise. On one side, parents may begin to drift away and stop communicating in such a way effective, which puts them in a vicious circle of malaise that is very difficult to stop.
On the other hand, conflicts can arise with the child, as parents tend to protect him too much and limit his autonomy not recognizing that he has certain autonomous abilities and that he can enjoy a greater degree of independence. Likewise, problems can arise between siblings, who are usually given more responsibility. It can also feed a feeling of rejection or shame about the situation they have to live through.
This situation, however, does not always and only cause discomfort and tension, it can also have a positive influence on the family. Indeed, it can strengthen family ties, fostering cohesion and closeness between different members. In other words, it can improve everyone's resilience.
"We find ourselves in certain situations to build our character, not to destroy ourselves."
Children with disabilities and social and professional impact
Although society continues to progress without stopping, there are still many misunderstandings about disabled people, so rejection remains on the agenda. This may mean that families with children with disabilities are increasingly isolated, reducing both the number of social relationships and their quality as a leisure activity.
There may be a deterioration in the social sphere, but there may also be a deterioration in the workplace. If family members think it will not be possible to reconcile this situation with their job, they quit. Even if this decision is made for the purpose of better looking after the family, it can become another source of tension, since in addition to affecting the well-being of those caring for the person with disabilities, it also has an economic impact.
"The world cares more about disabled people than the disabled themselves."
Disabled children and the impact on the health of family members
This does not affect the different family members equally. As it is easy to imagine, this family, social, work and economic situation can affect the health of all family members, but above all that of the person (or persons) who take care of the member with disabilities.
LExcessive responsibility that comes from caring can lead to the appearance of great emotional distress. It is normal for feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety or guilt to arise because of the situation and one's negative emotions.
But the repercussions are not only psychological, but it feels like it more tired and exhausted than normal, with obvious physical wear. As we have said, having children with disabilities can favor the emergence of difficult dynamics, but they can be transformed into useful situations by learning to manage them correctly ... We work for the well-being of all!
Images courtesy of Nathan Anderson and John Appel.