SUPPORT GROUP FOR CARE GIVERS OF CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
- Published: Tuesday, 03 October 2017 15:44
The first of ten weeks course for care givers of children with disability took place on Monday 5th September 2017.The day was very enriching with 25 care givers ;23 women and 2 men turning up for the training. The training was facilitated by Sister Elizabeth Wambui our school counselor and Teacher Mora who teaches children with special needs. The methodology of teaching was presentation and group discussions. The topic for the training was parenting skills especially for children with disability who often times need special care and attention. The session began by defining parenting by both facilitator and the parents.
The care givers were divided into groups to discuss and share their knowledge on parenting qualities of good parenting. Group one was tasked to discuss qualities on good enough parenting, Group two were to discuss poor parenting and group three were working on challenges faced in parenting.
A good parent does the following.
- Listens to their children and acknowledges their thoughts which helps them boost their confidence.
- Offers positive role models
- Set boundaries and structures
- Treats all their children equally without discrimination.
- Teaches their children the way of God.
- Has the ability to express love to their children
- Provides basic needs for their children
- A good parent protects their children from harm and give security to their children
- A good parent guides their children in doing the right thing
Poor parenting as discussed by group two is characterized by the following:
- Neglecting their children
- Not providing the children with basic needs
- Using abusive language to children
- Comparing your children with other children
- Failure to set rules for a child by loving their children too much until they are spoilt.
- Absent parenting where the parents are always away and they entrust their children with strangers such as house helps.
- Being over protective of their children when they are wrong and covering up children’s mistake
The morning sessions were very interactive with most of the parents gauging themselves if they are good or bad parents.
After having a heavy lunch and a drink the team came back for an afternoon session which was spent discussing challenges faced in parenting children with disability. These was a session to open up on some of the key issues that they face as they raise their children. Some of the key challenges highlighted were:
Group three presented on the challenges faced in parenting which include:
Facing rejection from their spouses once they realize that their children are not normal. Friends and family also avoid the families.
- Neglecting the other children in the family since all attention is directed to the special child
- Financial challenge since most parents cannot go to work but have to stay in the house taking care of the child with special needs and for some parents they spend most of their money in hospitals treating the children.
- Lacking understanding on the conditions that their children are facing and for parenting a deaf or dumb child, communication is a challenge since you the child cannot express themselves and thus it is hard to understand their needs and feelings.
The final session was the group reactions and sharing their experience and what they had learnt in the training. The reactions from parents were very positive and most of them pledged to take a step and come for individual counselling so that they could get further assistance.
Esther, one of the care parents who is a caregiver in the children with special needs unit was thankful to Ruben Centre for giving her two children a chance to be in school despite having special needs. “I can now take care of my family through the allowance I get every week by helping in the unit. The training was very educative.”
Sister Elizabeth who was facilitating the meeting had the following to say. “I thank the director and the sponsors of the group therapy for their moral and financial support to ensure the training is successful and parents are supported physically, mentally, psychologically and spiritually. Your support helped us provide breakfast, lunch and transport allowance of Kshs 300 for 25 care givers. We look forward to have more sessions with the care givers and hopefully they will be well equipped to face challenges in their parenting.”
“I was impressed with the turn up of the parents which was good compared to previous years where most parents shunned the support group meetings. The parents also had a lot of expectations. Attitude of the parents was positive and the interactions were very healthy with most parents opening up and sharing their experiences.” Says Teacher Mora.
Next training will happen next month.