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  • Writer's pictureThabo Baseki

Drop Filling

In the previous two articles, we looked at how we can support parents who have blind children. It is important to talk for a minute about how these parents can help their children understand that they are blind. Being different from other kids is never an easy way of living, and how such news is delivered can sometimes make or break a child.

a sailboat mving through rough seas
Like a boat in the sea, a child can be broken by the waves of what they are told, unless if well-delivered

How Can You Let Your Child Know That They Are Blind?

Talking to a child about their disability is not easy. One parent mentioned that she spent countless nights trying to figure out the best way of doing so. This is a process, and it cannot be completed in just 24 hours. You may want to hold back some details until the time is right. Try to use the following suggestions:

  • Recognize the need to inform your child about their blindness. Many parents may shy away from openly conversing with their children about their difference, with the view that they might hurt the child. What is worse: to shy away from discussing the condition at hand or to keep quiet about it? If your child realizes that they are different, they may ask you questions about their condition. You will not have escaped it but possibly made things worse by delaying a discussion about it. When such questions arise, offer to explain the situation and comfort your child. Do not dismiss it, as it may cause the child to feel unlikable, develop negative emotions, and more.

  • Research appropriate ways of talking about it. Before you say anything, look up sources that will help you converse with your child about this subject. Articles such as this one will give you numerous steps to get started with talking to your child.

  • Select the right time. Is your child mature enough to understand certain concepts and situations? Regardless of whether your child was born blind, or it happened along the way as they are growing up, you will need to find the right time to talk to them about their blindness. Remember, your child is fully dependent on you at this point for emotional support.

  • Plan your strategy to talk about it. Have you ever heard the expression, “you have thrown a bombshell on me?” What does it mean? It refers to hitting someone with breaking news without giving them small chunks for them to digest. Exercise drop filling when discussing this matter with your child. Drop filling? Imagine you were walking on the road, then rainfall started pouring on you! Which situation would you want for it to happen? Is it that the rain pours down on you soft/light, or is it for the rainfall to be heavy on you such that you get home wet? Most likely you would prefer that it pours up on you light until you reach home. So, how to do it? You might start by acknowledging your child’s abilities to create a smooth transition to the real issue at hand.

  • Be real, and do not overcomplicate things. Remember, the goal is to help your child live a fulfilling life. Although it is sad for both of you, do not complicate things by making it too emotional. Face the facts, and realize that your child can achieve a lot despite being blind. Before talking to your child about their blindness, you do well to research blind people who have made it in life and use those as examples. This will go a long way in your child’s mind as they grow up.

  • If possible, arrange for your child to meet up with someone who is in a similar situation. Wouldn’t you agree that suggesting your child meet another blind person could have a positive influence in their life? No doubt, that person has most likely experienced much of what your child is going through and may be in a better position to understand your child and offer the needed assistance.

I am always happy to talk to blind children and can be a source of assistance. Get in touch at to arrange for a meetup with your child, or with someone who just went blind recently.

  • Keep the conversation the right length. Remember that earlier on we spoke about avoiding overcomplicating things by including a lot of emotions in the conversation. Should it really be a long talk? While you do well to answer all your child’s questions and offer comfort, do not try to make it too inspiring. Be realistic, be natural, and converse with your child as you would with any other person. We can feel it, so have a smile on your face. This way, you will prove to your child that you are convinced that they can become a better person in life.

  • Consider talking to a professional, such as a therapist. These people have been well-trained to better assist blind people, and it may make your discussion with your child much easier than you thought.

  • Give your child essential skills. Your child will need to know how to respond to other kids if, for example, they ask them why they are using a white cane, why they read using Braille, or given a hand when walking. Knowing their response will boost their confidence and reduce the chances of being bullied.

Let’s close this article series by confirming that blind children are capable of becoming whatever they wish they could be. They are reliant on you as parents to receive the support they need on this journey. We have learned also how everyone, including other children, can offer support to parents with blind children. Let’s build a welcoming community for blind children and their parents.

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