Having a baby is a time that is filled with excitement, joy, and yes, stress! The additional anxiety that is bestowed upon parents of children with special needs can be overwhelming. The key to surviving is finding the right people to help guide you through the rough spots. This is your first child with Cerebral Palsy, but it is your child and only you know best what their needs are, and how to care for them. You may need the advice of professionals and caregivers, but if you stop and listen to your heart, all the knowledge you need for the really important things can be found within. When hiring a babysitter for your little one, keep in mind that they are going to be a very important foundation in your child’s life. Finding someone that you can trust to care for your child the way that you want, or as you would yourself, is not a simple task.
A child with Cerebral Palsy has unlimited potential to rise to any challenge. When hiring a babysitter to work with your child, it is crucial to find someone who has the same values, beliefs, and expectations that you have. You want to look for a childcare specialist who believes that your child can do amazing things just the way that you do. Of course you want someone to be very receptive to their needs, responsive, and nurturing, but you also want to find a nanny who will challenge them, foster their abilities, and have great expectations for them.
All too often it is easier for us, as parents and childcare professionals, to do for our children things they can do for themselves. It is difficult to see our children frustrated, or unhappy, but it is in those frustrating times that they find their own voice and abilities. Sometimes you will want a babysitter who will understand that to do for someone doesn't always mean to do it for them. Look for a nanny who knows when to push, when to back off, when to praise and when to just hold them. When you listen with intent you can thrive off the cues that your child sends to you, and if you find the right nanny, they will too.
Hiring a babysitter to come into your home can be a very uneasy feeling. You have this stranger, coming into you home and caring for your child. It is sometimes difficult first to give over the trust to someone else, and second to give that type of control to another person. That is why one of the most important things to look for in special needs care is a personality that you can communicate with. They must be able to take criticism, have thick shoulders, and recognize that as a parent you are going to know best. You may not know how to care for every child with Cerebral Palsy, but you will know your child better than anyone else on earth. No matter how experienced they are, they need to understand that what you want for your child are the goals that you are both going to be working toward.
Finding a childcare professional with experience is obviously going to be a concern, but don’t always assume that experience equals good caregiving. There are some individuals you will interview who may not have the professional credentials, but will have the personal ones that you want. Remember that knowledge is something that you can learn through reading and teaching, personality traits are resilient to learning. They are those things which are impervious to knowledge. That is why hiring a nanny who has a compatible personality style that you feel comfortable around, is going to make your home environment much more happy and loving, no matter what their previous experience babysitting for a child with Cerebral Palsy may tally.
During times of stress, which you most certainly will have in the future, it is nice to have a childcare specialist who doesn’t take things too seriously and can find humor and joy in the little things. Your child deserves to have someone who smiles frequently, recognizes that a happy face makes a happy child, and that children with special needs care requirements have the same emotional needs that any child does. Those needs include praise, play, love and lots and lots of hugs. You want to have Cerebral Palsy care in your home that is going to bring knowledge, qualifications and a warm friendly and engaging personality. If you aren’t able to find the perfect one right away, don’t get discouraged, they are out there. Sometimes you have to go through several caregivers to find the right “match”. It isn’t really about finding the perfect nanny, it is about finding the perfect nanny for you and your child. You don’t need Mary Poppins, but you do need someone who will care for your child the way that you do yourself, believe in them, foster their abilities, and ultimately love them in the same manner. You deserve that, your child deserves that.