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4 Ways to Assist Loved Ones Fighting Cerebral Palsy

4 Ways to Assist Loved Ones Fighting Cerebral Palsy

When a loved one has cerebral palsy (CP), he or she may need help fighting for the respect, services and quality of life they deserve. This is especially true when your loved one is still young.

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, sibling, or simply a good friend of someone with CP, you can have their back in a number of tough situations. Here’s how to advocate smarter:

1. Put yourself in your loved one’s shoes

Most people want the same basic things out of life. We want the security of knowing our basic needs, like food, shelter, and hygiene, will be met. We want to feel that we are respected, trusted, and loved by those closest to us. We want the opportunity to discover the ‘new’ and the support to pursue them.

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Start by assuming your loved one with CP wants, and deserves, these same basic things out of life. By starting here, you help ensure that you’re fighting for the highest quality of life possible for a human, whom you love.

2. Go on a quest to learn

You don’t have to know everything about CP in order to help a loved one, but you can offer more assistance and make more informed decisions if you understand both the condition and the people who live with it.

Use the Internet or head to your local library to read up on CP. Online resources like a guide to advocacy at TheCPLawyer.com can help you advocate for your loved one and make informed decisions. And don’t forget to seek out the perspectives of others who have CP: blogs and biographies can help you imagine new possibilities for your loved one and give you ideas for achieving them.

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3. Try to keep life normal as possible

Understand that life will be a constant adjustment with your loved one who has CP, but you don’t have to stop living. Many people at times believe that when in a caretaker’s role, their whole life has been taken away right in front of them, but the truth is quite the contrary. There are many ways that your loved one with CP can enjoy a normal life with you. There are restaurants and entertainment facilities that will accommodate your loved one and yourself.

Doing normal things can help your morale as well as that of your loved one. The less stress you have on this journey, the better things will be for both of you.The Center for Persons with Disabilities teaches the etiquette of approaching people with disabilities. They teach the overall concept not making the disability your focus, or your love one’s life.

4. Help the whole family

When one family member is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the entire family adjusts to accommodate their loved one’s needs. Spread your support around by helping family members as well. “Help” doesn’t have to be huge. Often, it’s the small things that show we care the most.

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Schedule a phone call, a coffee date, errands,or laundry into your week in order to help your loved one and their closest caretakers to take  a much-needed break.

Conclusion:

Now, this is not the end all be all for tips, but this is awesome information to build a foundation. This is a disease that affects many people in so many different ways. The more research and knowledge obtained, the better off you are in understanding how to fight against this disease.

At this point, we live in an age of information and there are no excuses in not being educated. While there may not be a cure for this disease, there are methods to help control it.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.lovethatmax.com/2016/06/fine-motor-skill-toys-for-children.html via 1.bp.blogspot.com

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Christopher Alston

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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