Dealing with Over-protectiveness with Disability

Parents have a natural inclination to love and care for their children which many times translates into worry for their well being. When this worry or anxiety becomes excessive it is what we call a helicopter parent- a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children. This can become stifling for a child and can cause them to feel resentment or anger towards the parent. Although the parent only wants the best for their child, it ends up hurting their relationship.

When a parent finds out that they are having a child with a disability, many times there is an added sense of worry and anxiety. When the baby is young, they constantly need to worry about all their various medical needs and they need to revolve their entire world with the various surgeries, procedures, doctor appointments, medications etc. There can also be an added component of unfounded guilt from the parents who take responsibility for their child’s disability- as if they were in control, which in most cases is not at all the situation.

Being born with Spina Bifida which many doctors say can be caused by a lack of folic acid in the pregnant woman, has made me the product of such a situation. My mom has stopped her entire life to care for all my many medical needs as I was a baby and needed full-time care. She took me to my many medical appointments, surgeries, therapies etc. As I grew up, I became an independent woman and do not appreciate others hovering over my every move. I have learned to live a full life in spite of my disability. In fact, I don’t let it affect my life very much at all. I have always been in a completely mainstreamed environment and for the most part, being able to function just like any typical person. My mother still sees me as the helpless child and seeks to assist me in every area of my life which causes me to feel stifled. The way I learned to deal with this is by keeping my life private and not letting her in. I feel bad that this is the way it had to turn out and I will continue to try and work on this relationship.

It is imperative for all parents to learn to let go so that they can enable their child to learn to fly on their own. For parents with a child with a disability, this may have to be a more conscious decision. I understand that this is extremely difficult, but trust me, in the long run, this is the healthiest way to live.

6 thoughts on “Dealing with Over-protectiveness with Disability

  1. You hit the nail on the head right there i totally understand what you mean im rediculous with it sometimes but i cant help it i traveled so far in my journey protecting him and keeping him safe im scared the world will hurt him if that makes sence

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    1. It makes complete sense. I have never been a parent and I don’t think I will be able to fully understand the struggle until I am but I can only imagine the sacrifice you put in and the feelings that come along with it. But isn’t it the greatest pleasure to be able to watch your child accomplish on their own as a result of the efforts you put in and the lessons you taught?

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      1. It is completly ive never seen any mone as strong as SB kids/adults and im greatful for him i appreciate everything now, and i grew up a lot he was sent to me as a blessing i was told it takes a special parent to raise a a special child and he is amazing its a gratifying job i have to say that

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      2. It is definitely not something that everyone has the capacity to do and when one is given a child with special needs they stretch muscles in their body, heart and brain that they never knew they had.

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  2. This is something I struggle with constantly and need to be very careful about. It’s hard to balance between meeting her needs and letting her do what she needs to grow and become independent. It’s a work in progress, I guess!

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