Helping Your Child Be a Stronger Advocate for Themselves

Helping Your Child Be a Stronger Advocate for Themselves

As much as you want to be there for your child all the time, in reality, life does not work that way. You can’t always be there. They have to learn how to fight their own battles and advocate for themselves. This can also be very motivating and empowering for them. It can help to build their confidence.

One of the first things you can do is talk to your child about their condition and how it impacts them. Maybe they use different strategies for learning and it takes them a little longer to master concepts. Perhaps they have trouble reading social cues or communicating clearly. A physical disability may mean they have to use adaptive equipment or adjust how they do things. They are just as capable as others, but in their own way. Teaching them about the challenges they face can help them to better explain it to others. Use easily understood terms and examples.

Other ways you can help include:

  • Identifying your child’s strengths and the things they do really well. They may struggle in one area but excel in another. Their condition doesn’t have to be seen as a disadvantage. There are plenty of ways for them to get involved and be successful.
  • Pay attention to your own actions and words. Your kids are always absorbing information from the world around them. They’re watching you even if you don’t realize it. Be positive when speaking to others about them and their abilities. Handle difficult situations in a calm manner. Defend their rights so they know there is always someone on their side and are more confident in defending themselves.
  • Encourage them to be accepting of others. Just as they want to be accepted and understood, so do other children. Teach them empathy, kindness, and respect. Building connections can help them to make lasting friendships.
  • Be supportive of whatever they choose to do. Whether that’s drawing, writing, acting, sports, music, or anything else that interests them, be encouraging. Provide them with the resources, support, and encouragement they need to keep working at it. There is no way of knowing exactly what your child is capable of until you let them try.

While you will always be one of your child’s strongest advocates, as they get older, they can start advocating for themselves as well. Set them up for success by providing the therapies and support they need to overcome challenges and excel. PediaPlex can work with your child to identify their individual strengths and areas of need and provide diverse treatment options. Whether they have a confirmed diagnosis, or you’re concerned about their development, PediaPlex can help.

Join the conversation on Facebook and let us know how you encourage self-advocacy.

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