There are many issues to consider when parenting a child with a brain injury. Striking a balance between protecting them from harm while encouraging self-reliance and independence can be difficult. It may not be clear in the early stages, what problems a traumatic brain injury has caused, and it can be difficult to predict how much a child will recover, and how fast.
It is easy to focus on the differences – how your situation is different to other families with children. But in general, most parents face a very similar range of challenges. Aim to focus on these similarities and claim your place, and your child’s place, as part of your local community.
At times the emotional challenges can seem overwhelming. Grief, in some shape or form, may always be there. Parents can feel they’ve lost their privacy and sense of control – everyone else has ‘good advice’ and knows best. You may feel isolated and ‘different’ from other families, or that there is no one there to help.
But many parents also say that this life-changing event has also helped them realise what’s really important and value what they do have. Many families also discover they’re not alone-many find that linking up with others in a similar situation provides great support.
Alongside the difficulties, lots of good things happen, and families need to recognise and celebrate these. By and large, families with a child with a brain injury get on with life very competently.