Raising kids with special needs especially ones that are going to live independently I have to be more intentional in how things are done. First I have worked too hard to build this family so in no way subscribe to the seen and not heard style of parenting. I want to hear and see it all. Time is short. Secondly my kids are not just going to pick up skills. It's not a matter of waiting until they're in high school in hopes that they will be taught all there is to know about surviving in the kitchen or life in general.
The more time we invest the easier it is to see where our kids strengths are and where they need more support. It sounds like such an easy concept but one that is missed by many.
I know that I miss many opportunities to engage with my kids. It is never about being a perfect parent but aspiring to be the best parent you can be for your child, not for everyone else's child but being the parent your child needs you to be.
Parenting is messy in every sense of the word. Finding the fun, humour and joy even when it is as dirty as it can get is where survival lies.
It is oft heard said that there should be a manual handed out at the hospital as you leave with your newborn baby. Unfortunately and fortunately there are no such instructions as each little person is an individual. There are set rules to guide us but raising kids is a fly by the seat of your pants job. Rules such as don't beat your kids, teach your kids not to beat on others, feed, clothe and educate them and above all ensure they feel loved and secure are the starting basics. As long as those are your starting points your kids will show you what they need from you as a parent. It might not be what your neighbour's kid needs or your sister's and each of your children will require different things from you.
Be present with your kids, live in the moment as much as possible and parent with intention. You are not just growing up kids you are raising them to be adults. It's serious business.
No one said it would be easy but man oh man is it worth it.