Parents want to feel like they are successful at their parenting. To be a success is to be successfully meeting the needs of the child. Parents tend to measure their success according to the progression of their childs learning and development. In the case of children with Down syndrome, the decision-making tends to be left up to the doctors and specialists who are experts when it comes to dealing with Down syndrome.
The need to relinquish control over to the experts can cause feelings of inadequacy for many parents. Occasionally parents will even be angry with they system and at the syndrome for not being able to parent their children they way they see fit without consulting anyone first.
Economics can be a big issue when it comes to parenting a child with Down syndrome. Many of the services that are needed for the child are not covered by health insurance and can be costly. The parents can have mixed feelings because the services are necessary but so it the integrity of the family finances. The feelings of being out of control of their own family life can be extremely stressful.
One recommendation that can reduce parenting stress and help the family with feelings of inadequacy and loss of control is to put together a support system for the family. Along with a support system for the family, it is important to use the child as part of the support system.
The child can be included in helping to accomplish tasks within the family that need to be done and it helps to make the child feel like less of a cause of stress in the family.
Another way to reduce parenting stress is to seek information and to learn about everything the child with Down syndrome is going through. Knowledge is power and can give the parents a comfort when it comes to relying on others to make medical type decisions regarding their child.
A great source of information that can also serve as a support system for the family is a parent support group for people who have children with Down syndrome. These groups are a wealth of information as well as support and comfort for stressed out parents.
Finally, parents of a Downs child need to be afforded the luxury of expressing their emotional needs and feelings regularly. Using the support network, the family can set up a place and time that is appropriate for sharing emotions and feelings. This will allow the parents to vent their feelings and ultimately feel better for letting off some steam. This is not only therapeutic and necessary but can actually help strengthen the family unit and help the family stay together and support each other.
Parenting any child is stressful and most parents of Down syndrome children can express the intense level of stress that comes with raising these children at least in the early years. The ability to identify stress and develop ways to get rid of the stress is most beneficial for the family as a unit.