Are you displaying avoidant behavior?

Think carefully now, are you?

Are you avoiding taking your child to the park or other places? Are there places or situations you're just don't go to.

Why is that?

If so, as a special needs parent carer you won't be surprised to know you're not alone in this.

Commonly this can be due to our child's needs. Their ability to cope with certain situations, the suitability of that environment for them to take part or protecting them from unnecessary stress or upset. We all want our children to succeed and have the best experience they possibly can whatever situation or environment they are in so why would we make that worse taking them to places that are unsuitable - we wouldn't.

However, stop and ponder for a second if you will. Take a few minutes to consider honestly, within yourself is there times where you are avoiding places or things not for your child's benefit but actually for your own.

Hand on heart if that's the case then this takes further exploration.

Avoidant behavior can be something that slowly develops as a way of managing or it can be a symptom of something deeper such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is something that has to be diagnosed by a medical professional but whatever the cause for it avoiding something is a short term behaviour strategy to try and manage a larger issue.

Yes it may help in the short term to reduce negative emotions in a certain situation but can also lead to other feelings afterwards such as guilt for not being able to do the thing that you have actively avoided.

The energy it takes to avoid certain situations is vast. If an activity is being avoided because of your feelings of anxiety then stop to consider what effect this is having on those around you. Not only are they not having a full experience but also they will be affected by the reactions and behaviours you exhibit due to the way you feel inside.

Do you experience anxiety, anger, agitation, inability to concentrate or focus or perhaps more physical symptoms such as upset stomach or panic attacks.

Consider carefully how much this avoidant behaviour is affecting your life and how it is serving you - is it occasional or is it actually frequent making your and your families world become smaller and smaller? If so maybe it's time to look at addressing this for your wellbeing and those around you.