Laying the Best Foundation for Children Who are Blind or Visually Impaired
If you are the mom, dad, or family member of an infant or toddler with a visual impairment, please understand the most valuable component of raising your child is love. You don’t have to strive for perfection in parenting. Throw off any parental guilt and be motivated out of love to understand, encourage and coach your child. Here are the benefits of changing the focus from “How do I perfectly parent my child?” to loving your unique child:
- You are able to enjoy your child for who he is. You don’t have to perfect parenting in order to “produce the best results.” You already have an incredible child. Let that sink in.
- You study him and appreciate his unique personality and strengths.
- You let him know his strengths and he gains confidence.
- You give him opportunities to explore a variety of activities and you recognize his interests.
- You encourage his pursuit of interests. He develops skills that eventually become hireable.
- While it is much easier to manage tasks for your toddler, the love you have for him allows you to think long-term. It is in his best interest to develop responsibility, a good work ethic, and to learn specific skills. You generally choose the difficult path (allowing your son to feed himself even though it is unbelievably more messy) because you are preparing him for his future. (P.s. I hear a dog is the perfect solution to food-ridden floors.)
- You are motivated to learn how to teach him and what to teach him. You love him and want him to mature and acquire life skills.
- You coach him in social skills. You want him to respectfully speak up for himself, listen well, and connect with others.
- You correct poor or inappropriate behavior. You are shaping your son into the man he will become.
With love as your motivation, and not perfection or guilt, you can guide your child onto the path of transitioning into the adult world. Continue reading each transition section and discover how to meaningfully engage your child, giving him experiences and opportunities to mature into a confident, well-prepared adult.