You know that no matter how well your child recovers from a traumatic brain injury, there will always be good days and bad days. However, the bad days seem to be piling up lately—and it’s all you can do to maintain a calm and encouraging environment for your child’s recovery. You’ve talked to the doctors at St. Luke’s, but they just tell you to be patient and let you child heal at his own pace. But how can you be patient if you keep having the same problems over and over again?
Don’t Get Overwhelmed: Solve Your Problems One at a Time
Your child’s responses and behavior may cause many different problems that relate to one another, leaving you wondering where to start. The best method is to pick one problem—usually the one that is causing the most difficulty—and find the most workable solution. You will likely find that your solution to this problem will make a lot of the smaller decisions easier.
After you have chosen the problem, use the following steps to help find the best solution:
- Identify the problem. This may not be as straightforward as it seems. Your answer should be as specific as possible. For instance “He gets frustrated easily” is a vague problem, but “he gets frustrated when he can’t remember things” allows you to find creative solutions.
- Brainstorm. Make a list of potential ways to solve the problem. Don’t hinder yourself—write down anything that comes to mind, whether they are strange or impractical. Anything you put down has the potential to work its way into a solution.
- Game it out. For each idea you have listed, imagine the scenario and the plan you have put in place. Imagine what could happen, what is likely to happen, and what you want to happen. Keep track of the pros and cons for each solution.
- Make your choice. Pick the best solution according to the pros and cons list. Remember that one negative can outweigh many positives, so be considerate and realistic in your choices—and always use what is best for your child as your guiding principle.
- Try it out. Wait for the problem to arise, and be ready with your solution. It may take more than one try to get the results you want. If your solution doesn’t work in the way you expected, try to figure out why.
- Check your list. Even if your solution doesn’t work, it’s not a failure; you still have a whole list of potential ideas to try—and each time they don’t work, you hone in on the problem and get closer to finding the solution.
Help for TBI Caregivers Begins With Helping Yourself!
Before you can tackle a frustrating situation, it’s always a good idea to take a step back. Caring for a family member who is unable to care for himself is an exhausting process, and if you let yourself be defeated, your child will respond in kind. Find a time of day when you can fully relax for at least an hour to do something you enjoy. In many cases, allowing yourself a rest break will be enough for the solution to a problem to come to you naturally—and you’ll be well-rested enough to put a plan into action.
Was your child’s traumatic brain injury caused by a car accident? Send us an email to find out how you could get payment for ongoing medical costs, or click the link on this page to read through our free report, Brain Injury Survivor’s Guide.