Appreciating ourselves as parents
The 'perfect parent' doesn’t exist
When can any of us truthfully say we are ‘perfect’ at anything? We are always learning. No two days are ever the same (especially with a child involved!) and any mistake you may have made is not wasted if you learn from it. Also, it's normal to make mistakes, just try not to allow them to impact how you see yourself or dictate what you do going forward. Embracing your mistakes while showing humour and persistence will set a great example to your child and those around you.
Supporting each other
Whether you're in a relationship or separated, it's important that the child’s parents are able to support one another. Parenting is a tough job and it's sometimes hard to remember the bigger picture and instead focus on day-to-day grumbles such as the school run! Here are some tips to keep yourself on track:
Listen to each other – be receptive to worries and concerns. Listen closely to what the other has to say and work through solutions together. If you're separated, make time once a week to brief the other on how things are going and share any news.
Share the workload – take turns making dinner, taking the kids over the holiday, doing the laundry, helping with homework or buying school uniforms for example. Also, show appreciation for each other’s contributions.
Agree on a parenting style – this can be what the kids have for dinner, what toys they play with, communication techniques, TV and internet consumption, whether or not to use time out etc. But what is vital is presenting a united front so your child doesn’t become confused or play parents off against each other.
Make some time together (or with your friends!) – It may seem like it’s all about the kids, but you must remember you and your partner have to have time for yourselves! Even if it's just for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, it’s so important to care for your relationship with each other and yourself. Call on grandparents, friends, nieces or nephews (if they are old enough) and make time for an occasional date night or a night out with friends.
For more tips, including information on how to support yourself as a single parent visit Contact's page on looking after your relationship.
Meeting other parents
In our experience, all parents have found that meeting other parents with deaf children is hugely rewarding and a wonderful way of sharing unique experiences with other families. So why not give it a go? If you haven’t done so already, check out our Facebook page, sign-up for one of our family events, or join one of our many Local Support Groups.