Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Applied to Special Need Parents

I was reading an article on Stephen Covey's "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" applied to special needs parents and found it interesting.

Be Proactive
This should speak volumes to parents with special needs children. Be proactive; recognize that you are "response-able" to help make a better life for your child. It is most definite that you will probably have to do things outside of the normal. Translation: think outside the box.

Begin with the end in mind.
This is based on imagination. What kind of life do you envision for your child as an adult? Imagine them going to college, living independently, having a social life. Imagine a great, world changing....and then see every detail through to the end.

Put first things first.
The third habit reminds people that "to live a more balanced existence, you have to recognize that not doing everything that comes along is okay." Life management -- it is okay to not do everything that comes along. Set priorities for the "day to day" and long term, so you can live a more balanced life.

Think win-win.
The phrase "win-win" may be ubiquitous today, but it's likely popularity came from Covey's fourth habit, which means "agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying." Think "Win-Win" every time you are negotiating. Which can be almost daily when advocating on your child's behalf. Keep the "win-win" habit in mind when working towards solutions or agreements that will be both mutually beneficial and satisfying.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This habit can be used in all areas of our children's lives.  We need to become good listeners to our children, which may require more intent observation to their behaviors, schedules and activities in order to understand and respond appropriately, not just respond! This habit encourages helping our children to be understood better in their daily lives.

"Synergize" assemble and build a winning and diverse team of all-stars Choose, not only, the right doctors, therapists, teachers, aides, tutors, and coaches, but also, family and friends that will be effective in helping your child reach their potential.

Sharpen the saw

Sharpen the are your child's best advocate. You must find ways to preserve, enhance and renew yourself on a daily basis. Without you where will your child be?

Some of these are definitely easier then others...some come more naturally then others...but then isn't that just part of life as well as any relationship one may have. I am going to keep these habits in mind as much as possible as I go about my days.  

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