Adjusting Parental Responsibilities After An Injury Accident | When a parental injury disrupts the family’s everyday life, the injured parent must exercise patience and give his or her child ample time to adjust to the new reality. The injured parent should strive to understand the impact of the injury on the child, maintain a routine, and get professional assistance. He or she should also be bold enough to ask for help from people around, accept help from children, and avoid verbalizing pain all the time, especially to the children.
Tips for Adjusting Parental Responsibilities After an Injury
Understanding the Impact of Parental Injury on the Child
A 2014 study by Washington University found that children of injured parents experience increased posttraumatic stress symptoms and reduced quality of life than children of uninjured parents. The same study found that children of injured parents had a high likelihood of exhibiting PTSD symptoms five months after their parent’s injury. The injured parent should strive to understand the effect of his or her injury on the child. He or she should start by asking questions to determine what the child knows. The injured parent should then provide helpful information in simple, age-appropriate ways.
Maintaining Regular Routine
An injured parent should strive to stick to an already established routine. Children feel more secure when there is a routine in place. Regular family traditions, such as movie nights and bedtime stories, should continue. Sudden disruptions to a routine can make children feel upset, insecure, and worried.
Abrupt changes in normal routines can be damaging to the child in the long term. Child custody attorneys can help revise the parenting agreement for divorced parents, especially where one is injured. The new agreement should uphold the child’s best interest to ensure minimal disruptions to the routine.
Getting Professional support
After working on maintaining a normal routine, an injured parent should try to address his or her physical, emotional, and psychological needs by getting professional help. Severe injuries, such as spinal injuries, can take a toll on a parent and affect his or her physical, emotional, and mental health. The injured parent should not burden his or her child with emotional stress, regardless of the child’s perceived maturity. Instead, he or she should get professional assistance should traumatic stress symptoms persist for more than a month or affect normal functioning.
Boldness to Ask for Help
To keep things running close to normal, the injured parent should boldly reach out for help. Family members, friends, and neighbors are part of the injured parent’s support system. Family members could help in taking the injured parent to the hospital. Friends could greatly help in picking groceries or prescription drugs. Supportive neighbors could also help in getting schooling children on and off the bus. The injured parent could also hire someone to clean and do laundry in the house.
Accepting Help from Children
Children love to help. The injured parent should, therefore, accept help from his or her children. The support can be as simple as bringing him or her medication or emptying the dishwasher. He or she should ensure that gratitude is similarly reciprocated to the child through hugs and encouragement. The injured parent should assign duties taking into account the child’s abilities. He or she should understand that children want to help even on tough duties that are well beyond their capabilities.
The injured parent should strive to maintain healthy conversations with his or her children. Verbalizing his or her pain adds more worries to the children. Despite the mental stress the parent has due to an injury, there is no need to take it all out on his or her children. The parent should understand that physical pain alone significantly affects children. He or she should reach out to personal friends when he or she wants to vent frustrations.