Warwickshire dads helping dads with disabled children in video series - The Leamington Observer

Warwickshire dads helping dads with disabled children in video series

Leamington Editorial 4th Apr, 2021   0

DOTING dads in Warwickshire and Coventry have united to create a set of online videos to support fellow dads with disabled children.

The parenting team worked with family researcher at the University of Warwick, Emma Langley, to capture their experiences and create a resource aimed at helping the wellbeing of other dads raising a disabled child.

In the videos the men speak openly about their lives, including their reactions to being told their child had disabilities, and how they felt about having to change their expectations of family life. They share their tips on adapting parenting skills to support a child with additional needs, as well as positive experiences with their children.

Dr Langley said: “Fathers of disabled children are rarely involved in research into family wellbeing, which means that we know little about their experiences and the kinds of support that would be helpful.

“We set up the Dads of Disabled Children Research Advisory Group so that we could share and discuss research findings related to father wellbeing. It became clear that the dads wanted to create something practical to help others in their situation.”

Chris Jones, who helped run the group’s meetings, said: “The group started as a forum to discuss research but we soon realised we wanted to capture our own experiences and share what worked for us so that we could help other dads look after their families and themselves.

“We decided that we would speak about our personal experiences over Zoom. One of the other dads edited our contributions into these videos. We hope that the resource will reassure other dads of disabled children and help them to be the best dad that they can be.”

Dr Langley said: “The videos are organised into key themes which the dads felt were important to discuss and are underpinned by theory and research.

“We know from research that parents of disabled children are more likely to experience high levels of stress, often linked to lack of support.

“Given the important role that parents play in children’s lives, their well-being is therefore important not only for its own sake but also because of its potential to influence their child’s outcomes. Supporting parents with their well-being will have positive outcomes for them and others in their family.

“So we very much hope that these resources will help other dads to feel more supported and to explore ways to look after their own health as well as their children’s.”

Click here to watch the videos.


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