Raising a family is a tough enough task without the added challenges that often come from being a wheelchair user. Mobility can be a very useful tool in parenting, so being able to comfortably use your wheelchair and adapt your environment to better suit your parenting needs will greatly increase your confidence while raising children. Every parent has their own approach to introducing their children to the world. Here are a few ways to ease the pressures of parenthood when using a wheelchair.
Carrying Young Children
Before your child can move around by themselves, they will require a lot of your help. Although there are benefits to wheelchair use when carrying young children, there are some techniques that are better than others. Wherever possible, it is best to adapt your equipment, such as your changing table or crib, to a height you can comfortably access. This means you will find it much easier to lift and place your child without the risk of tipping your chair. Slings and other carrying solutions can help to keep young children secure on your lap while on the move.
The School Run
School-age children need just as much attention as infants. Between sticking to dress codes, making lunches, and helping with homework, parenting a child attending school is almost like going back to school yourself. In a wheelchair, certain aspects of making sure your children don’t miss class can be more of a challenge. To make the school run easier, a wheelchair-accessible vehicle can allow you to be there when dropping them off at the school gates. Find out more at alliedmobility.com.
Feeding a family takes patience and skill for any parent. Whether your children are fussy eaters or always want more, being a wheelchair user and preparing food involves some adapting. With a kitchen counter adjusted to your preferred height or cabinets removed from under countertops for wheelchair space, making meals for your kids becomes much simpler. Involve them in the process and teach them about their food. It is hugely beneficial for any parent, particularly a parent who uses a wheelchair, to encourage independence in their children, as this eases the pressure on you as they grow and learn.
At different stages in your child’s development, there will be different stages of play. As an infant, your child will be rolling and crawling, so putting them on a surface such as a bed at a height you can access easily will help you interact. Once they start to walk and run, make sure your home has plenty of space for you to keep track of their activity. Since you won’t be able to chase after them if they run toward danger, you will need to reinforce the fact that your stern voice should not be ignored. Follow through on reprimands to teach them that you only want what’s best for them.
Parenting is no walk in the park for anyone, so it’s understandable that being a wheelchair user can add to the challenge. However, with the right mindset and adapted tools, you can enjoy raising a happy and fulfilled family.