Parenting corner - Parenting when you have a visual impairment
Parenting while not an easy task, can be joyous, fun and fulfilling. For people with disabilities, parenting brings its own set of challenges that need to be overcome as and when they come up. People with visual impairments are amazing parents who are capable of giving their kids enormous support, love and affection. Today we will talk about children of visually impaired parents.
Some people have vision impairments from birth while some may lose their sight later in life due to factors such as medical conditions, accidents or age.
Children learn from people in their surroundings and parents are the first set of people for them to see, know and follow. Loving your parents comes naturally to a child and the love is selfless and abound, the same stands true for parents.
Payal Jethra is a single working parent with visual impairments and feels that children observe and learn most of the life related stuff themselves. Parents can help shape the perception of children towards life and make it positive for them.
"When I look back I can't recall when exactly my son understood that I was a VI person. One day while he was a toddler, he told me to be cautious of a dog on the roadside and at that moment I realized that my little son knows that I have limitations and wants to help me through the obstacles. I have always maintained an open communication with him and it has kept us close to each other. Payal Jethra, parent and bank employee
"I am proud to see the level of independence and maturity my son has. Parents need to trust the ability of their children to cope with life and its struggles. Mutual respect and maintaining the dignity of the bond is crucial, adds Payal.
Visually impaired people are capable of living their lives like everyone else, they study, work, take care of their families, go on vacations, do shopping and enjoy such little pleasures of life. They are also capable of taking care of children and raising them.
Blind parents take care of every day task with children and use their own strategies and skills to perform their parenting duty. They adopt strategies based on the senses of touch, smell and hearing. They might need some help at times but then who doesn't.
We spoke to another parent of two, Tasneem Bharmal who lost her vision in her thirties. Like every parent she had concerns about how her children will cope with her disability.
"When I started losing my sight, my kids were young. We had a few rough years initially as I tried to live with vision loss. However, over the years, I learned the skills that are used by VI people, I started working after the loss of vision and now I am quite independent. My children also adapted to the fact that I have certain limitations and need to do things differently. Their love and support became my strength.
Tasneem adds, "They are empathetic towards people with disabilities and I am extremely happy to see them grow up into such good human beings.
These days technology, online information helps the parents in their parenting duties. While many visually impaired parents also stay connected to support groups where they can interact with other.
'Positive Parenting' is one such support group for parents with visual impairments in Mumbai.
Get in touch:
Here is the link to the Positive Parenting group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/LTSTDypjLAJKF2db1rbNcS