Engaged Couple Holding Hands

How to Be a Supportive Partner

Parents share their best tips for how to stay connected with your partner as you navigate the challenges of raising a child who is struggling.

1

You Are a Team

"Even if one spouse takes a leadership role and does a lot of the research and coordinating for your child - do not assume they will do it all. Continually check-in and ask what you can take off their plate." 

  • Stay organized. You will have a lot of important documents, and information and it can cause unnecessary stress if it is not organized. Get a system down early and have both of you know exactly how to access the information you may need for your child.

  • There is a lot that goes into running a household, and even more work when raising a child who is struggling. Distribute the work (financially, household tasks, parenting tasks, etc.) in a way that you both feel comfortable with. Have an honest conversation about your expectations of each other so one of you does not feel like you are doing anything alone.

 

Couple in Love
  • When possible with your schedule make it a point for both parents to go to any and all doctors, therapy, and any other services your child goes to. This shows a united front, but also it helps to get you both the most accurate information about your child as possible. If you both go nobody will be hearing second hand information and you can ask any questions you may have. It is possible that telehealth can make this more doable for your family.
     

  • Play to each other's strengths. Perhaps one parent is very good at keeping a level head and effectively communicating with schools, doctors, etc. Allow that person to take more of a leadership role in meetings and have the other parent back up what they are saying. Same thing for if one parent is better with technology, maybe they can take on more of the research.
     

  • It is easy to feel like this is all happening to YOU. Remember this is happening to your partner too.
     

  • You cannot control anybody but yourself. You can't control how your partner reacts and what they do. Try and let that need for control go. You cannot battle each other when you are battling other big things.
     

  • Be on the same page about what the diagnosis is, and what kind of treatment your child requires. If you disagree about this research, ask questions, and seek more help until you are on the same page