How to Overcome the Guilt, Self-Doubt and Criticism of Being a SEND Parent
Presented by Yvonne Newbold
When a child behaves in ways that can be extremely difficult or dangerous, even if that child has a disability or additional needs, it’s very common that parents are judged, blamed and criticised for either “causing” or “allowing” the behaviours to continue. If only it were that simple!
Extreme behaviour in SEND children is a very complex issue and it’s nearly always caused by very high levels of anxiety, not because of any lack of skills in a parent. Yet the repeated parent-blame can be so harmful, significantly damaging a parent’s self-esteem, self-confidence and their overall mental well-being. This group of parents need help, support and understanding, yet instead they can become judged, blamed, shunned and isolated.
I was once that parent and I know first-hand how hard it was. When you are told often enough that it must be all your fault, eventually you start believing it too which destroys self-belief, self-worth and causes very real mental health issues. At the very time you need to be the best and most responsive parent that you can be to support your child past their extreme behaviour episodes, you are often left feeling guilty, broken and believing that you’re failing as a family.
This session is about unpicking all of this, looking at why other people find behaviour issues so difficult to understand and what you can do to help, as well as how to protect yourself from being affected by all the negativity that often gets so unfairly directed at you.
Topics covered include –
- Why your own emotional health matters
- Parent-blame and judgement – why it happens
- How it affects you and what you can do to protect yourself
- Identifying your own psychological needs and how to get them met
- How to manage the very difficult feelings of things like
- Fear of failing
- Feeling that you’re “not enough”
How to manage relationships more positivity with
- Your co-parent
- Extended family
- Professional staff working with your child
- How to increase your chances of being heard and understood
- Why your own self-esteem and anxiety levels matter
- How to be kind to yourself