Do you ever feel like your child or children take all of your energy and you therefore have no energy to give to your spouse, partner, or friends? This is very normal although so important to pay attention to, be mindful of, and work at. Humans are social beings and we need that support network to function in our daily lives. Without it, we will get worn down and we will eventually see turmoil in our relationships, work, and ways of parenting. Below are some relationship recommendations that are so important when raising children, more importantly, children with autism.
First, ensure that you have a close adult companion who you can confide in. If you have a spouse or partner, it will most likely be them. If you do not have a spouse or a partner, identify a close friend who you can have real, open conversations with and who can call on when in times of need.
Second, have high levels of communicate with your partner about your parenting strategies, away from your child. It is so important to have consistent parenting styles and strategies. Disagreeing during an episode with your child will only increase the stress and make matters worse. The communication needs to happen when you are alone with each other and you can come to resolutions. This will help in times when one parent needs a break and the other parent can step right in and be consistent with the strategies that the first parent was just using. Just as a marriage builds a relationship, a child builds a team.
Last, schedule fun adult time on a regular basis, away from your child, with your partner or close friends. This is so important! Parenting is difficult and brings many challenges to relationships. It is important to spend time together, focusing on the two of you and not worrying about your child in the next room. Relax, have fun, and focus on you!
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“I’ll be honest, it takes some time to adjust…but once you see it works and you start seeing your child respond, it makes it all worthwhile.”