As we enter into 2014 we often think about resolutions – things we want to improve on or change. When you are a young person with disabilities or a parent of a child or young adult with disabilities it may be easy for you to pick out all the negatives that need changing whether it be issues at school, at home or in the community. This year take a different look at the New Year.
Look at the positive. Most youth and young adults like looking at the positives. Make a dream board of all the positive things that they want to do this year. Cut pictures out of magazines. Have them draw pictures. Make signs of inspirational words. Hang all of this where they are most likely able to see them during the day when they wake up and go to sleep. Enlarge the positives and focus on them and the negatives will likely lessen. Do this not only for youth, but also for you the parent. A positive attitude in a house in general will make the positive happen.
Instead of or in addition to a dream board with al the positives your child may respond to writing out the positives. You can assist in doing this in a variety of ways. One way may mean to make a list of all that you both want to see in the New Year and post it somewhere where it can be read. Perhaps that may be too big of a task and you want to do it more slowly. At the end of each day in the New Year ask your youth or young adult to write down 5 things that were positive things that happened that day or 5 things that they are grateful that happened that day. In the beginning they may be superficial, but it will be interesting to see how their thoughts progress as the year goes on. Adults can do it too! Sharing entries are also wonderful ways to start new conversations!
Happy New Year!