Warrior, protector, provider, encourager, and equipper.
The five roles of a special-needs dad.
The five-word answer to the question, “What is my role as a father of a child with special-needs?”
The five-word antidote to the epidemic of vacant dads plaguing the special-needs community.
The special needs dad is a Warrior.
He fights for his family and child. He becomes his child’s advocate. He speaks for his child when his child cannot speak. He does not send his spouse in alone to battle for insurance, therapies, services, and inclusion. He leads the battle when necessary. He does not shirk from IEP meetings, but embraces them as opportunities to fight for his child. He leads his family spiritually, warring against evil using the weapons of prayer and his knees.
The special-needs dad is a Protector.
He shields his family from harm by being the spiritual leader of his family. He also affirms his spouse, as they stand back-to-back, united in their cause. He constantly, every day, reminds his family that he is there to protect them from emotional and relational harm whenever possible, and to reaffirm them if it does happen. His family feels safe in the home, as he protects them from his own emotional outbursts, fears, desires, or worries. He also protects them from jealousy, conflict, and strife.
The special-needs dad is a Provider.
I’m not necessary talking about financially. I’m also emphasizing providing a safe, loving environment as well. Creating a household where everyone’s emotional, spiritual, and relational needs are met and provided for in every aspect. He provides a relationship of trust, self-sacrifice, and service by daily laying down his own life for his family and children. He provides a loving, accepting, and supportive home life for his family.
The special-needs dad is an Encourager.
He realizes that his words have the power of life and death over his family, so every day he speaks life. He becomes his family member’s biggest cheerleaders, refusing to say anything negative over or about them. He affirms, he believes, he declares, and he reminds them every day that their lives have significance. His speaks blessings over his wife and children and calls down God’s purpose and plan for their lives. He believes in their potential to change the world, just the way they are.
The special-needs dad is an Equipper.
Everything he does equips his family to the best of his ability, to thrive as a special-needs family. Their needs far supersede any needs of his own he may have. He lays down his own plans, goals, and dreams to serve and equip his family. He searches out opportunities to be engaged, involved, and passionately pursues time with his children.
Warrior, protector, provider, encourager, equipper.
What areas or roles do you feel are your strongest as a special-needs dad, and in what areas are you going to endeavor to improve?
Children are a gift from the Lord:
they are a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 NLT
By Jeff Davidson
Husband to Becky, Father of one
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Rising Above Ministries
Author of No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches: a father, a son with special needs, and their journey with God
The 1 Corinthians 13 Parent Series: Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love and their companion Study Guides, are formally launched this month. We are sharing the LOVE with over $400.00 worth of give-aways: books, jewelry, and one-on-one parent coaching with either Lori Wildenberg or Becky Danielson, both licensed parent and family educators. To be eligible for the gifts, comment on one or more of the 1C13P blog posts during the month of February. Winners will be randomly drawn each Friday and notified via email.