Start out asking the child how they feels about talking about this subject. If the child seems embarrassed, or scared, reassure the child, that there is nothing to be ashamed of.
It’s important to talk to a child that has a disability, or knows of someone who does. They need your advice.
If the child is disabled, it depends on the severity of the disability, on how this will affect the child’s emotional state of mind. Tell them the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and how they all accepted each other, no matter if one was grumpy, or one was dopey. They named each other these names out of fun and maybe a little truth, however, all was done in humor. Humor can put a whole new perspective to the word disability.
Telling children to put humor into their lives, helps allow them not to be so tenderhearted. Explain to the child the necessity of self acceptance. Tell them that finding out who they really are, will lead them to be the best that they can be, with pride and acceptance.
Ask the child to tell you how they feel. Tell them it’s alright to feel mad at first, however, let them hear that by choosing to be proud of themselves, others learn from their experiences. Tell the child some things about your past that made you feel disabled, it could be about going through a divorce, and how this made you feel different and alone. Share many of your trials that left you feeling different and alone.
Your child may be a talker, which is a good thing, in this situation. Let the child feel free to express opinions. Whether, it’s a good feeling emotion or a negative emotion, let the child vent his anger in appropriate manners. Tell the child to punch a pillow if he needs to. Venting anger on a safe object may be beneficial.
Another child may feel too shy to talk about it. This is where someone will need to be creative, and think of ways to help him/her discuss their feelings. One way you could ask the child to express themselves is to draw a picture of their family. This can lead you to some unanswered questions. The child could draw a picture of the mom, dad, and himself. The three of them are there, however, nobody is playing. You then may ask them why nobody is having any fun. The child may answer,” because I’m in a wheel chair”. This information has let the parent understand why their child is spending time alone. Expressing themselves by picture drawing is a great way to help solve the problem.
If the child can write, ask him/her to write his feeling down if this is easier. Imagine yourself in their shoes, and you’ll soon understand how they feel.
Parent’s lives can be pre-occupied about work, or school. Parents think their lives are hard. Walk in their shoes! It’s harder for children with a disability, to understand why this has happened to them, or to a member of their family; however life can surprise us all, when love is on our side.
Say a little prayer with them, to help give them hope for a brighter tomorrow. Never take hope away from a child. Hope is the foundation for a better tomorrow.