Having a challenged kid is like riding a carousel, it never stops turning, you have a million things on your table, doctor appointments, scheduling therapies, running around different rehabilitation centers trying to find the perfect therapist for your child. You get sucked into this never ending whirlpool and you forget your own child, you forget to enjoy your time with your child.
Here are 10 things I did with my Tala to break the routine:
1. Take a day off from all the therapies and spend it with her. Some days we will snuggle in bed and watch TV all day. Other days I take her out to the mall and buy her a nice toy, or take her on a playdate.
2. Make bath time fun, you can add color bath bombs colors or use food coloring if you don’t have access to bath colors. Be creative, put on a swim suit and join her make your child feel that you are engaged in any fun activity, other than driving her from and to therapy.
3. Go for a walk, talk and sing together. Tala doesn’t talk but I talk to her all the time, I try to use gestures so she can imitate me.
4. If she’s a girl take her to the hairdresser with you, don’t care about people who stare your child is a million times more important than those people staring.
5. If he’s a boy take him to a soccer game or take him to get a haircut also, why not? Make your child feel that she/he is part of your normal day and your community, not an outcast.
6. Cook together, the kitchen is one of the most fun places for a child.Give her cake batter and ask her to mix it together with her hands, these activities help sensory development and will give your child self confidence and reinforce the idea that she’s not useless.
7. Do laundry together, have your child seated next to the washing machine and let her pull out the clean clothes and put in the dirty ones. Help her press the button to start the washing machine.
8. Eat Mangos together. Why did I choose mangos? A- because I just love this fruit, B- it’s so messy and fun.
9. Go grocery shopping together, the lights and colors in the supermarket is fun for children. The smell of the bakery, the sound of the cash machine. All of this will capture your child’s attention and will make her happy.
10. Story time before bed, take 5 minutes to read a story to your child it will create a sense of closeness between both of you.
All of these activities can be done with your child even if he/she can’t sit up right. I have done that with Tala at a point in her life were she used to lie on her back for a very long time unable to move her arms, unable to look around. Believe me, you are a mother you will always find a way to make it work.