4 Ways to Enlist the Help of Others
Dr. Cheryl Lane recently wrote the article 5 Tips for Caring for a Seriously Ill Child. In this article, Dr. Lane provided great help to parents that struggle with caring for a child that has a chronic, serious illness. The first bit of advice that Dr. Lane gave was to enlist the help of others.
While one person or organization may help provide emotional support, others may provide education, recreation, respite, housework, or caring for your child directly.
Enlisting the help of others is one of the most important gems parents can do for their kids. Having children with a chronic illness can be exhausting. Plus, we all need help every so often if we’re honest.
The problem I find in my counseling experience is that parents struggle with how they can effectively enlist the help of others. They worry about asking too much, overstepping boundaries and/or appearing weak.
Enlisting the help of others can be scary; but like a lot of things, it’s tough to initiate. However, it can become very rewarding once you've made steps in that direction.
How to Enlist the Help of Others:
- Accept that you need help.
The fact that you need help doesn't mean you are weak. It means that you have an opportunity to help others become as strong as you are. Sharing the opportunity to serve your child and your family gives others an opportunity to grow, learn new things, become more compassionate, and experience the joy of helping.
- Find resources of like-minded, relatable supporters.
Research shows that people who have strong support systems tend to be more successful and resilient. Do a simple internet search to find groups or organizations in your community. This may include churches, clubs, support groups, counselors, doctors, or family and friends that can give special support. Not everyone is the same. People have different gifts and talents. One person or organization may help provide emotional support, while others may provide education, recreation, respite, housework, or caring for your child directly. No business has one person running every facet of the operation. Some are marketers, some accounting, and others are HR or IT. You don’t have to do it all either.
- Don’t be afraid to ask.
Delegation is important. When a person says they are willing to help, take them at their word. Presently, we live in a society that doesn't like to be vulnerable or appear “needy,” but the truth is all of us are needy in one way or another. It is more effective to honestly and openly ask for the help you need, rather than to hint at it and become resentful when people don’t respond. People may say “no,” but many will say “yes” – and your relationship will grow as a result of this compassionate interaction.
- Don’t push people away.
When we ask others to help, we shouldn't be afraid of them saying “no.” Whenever we ask something, we have to be willing to accept it when someone says “no.” Be grateful for help when people give it. It’s not necessary to throw a party for a person each time they help, but a simple “thank you” is in order. Try to have a positive, optimistic expectation that people will be willing to help, but be careful not to demand or feel entitled to help. Share your triumphs with other people.
Enlisting the help of others is a wonderful endeavor that leaves the giver and receiver edified and strengthened. Share the opportunity to help and serve your wonderful child!