By changing parenting answers to illness, we can encourage healthier children. My daughter had three bouts of strep throat in first grade. In second grade, she was starting on her second round of throat ailments when we sat quietly in the physician’s office and held hands. Her words hit me hard in the gut. I wonder how she thought her illness was an inconvenience to me – yet another problem in my entire life.
Let’s understand it
Her words made me review what I had said, in addition to my non-verbal language and my actions about being healthier. How was my parenting a message to feel guilty about being ill? The evidence of my worried parenting was easy to find: the scowls about missing another day in the office; the rush to discover a babysitter; the trip to the drug store. My daughter soaked up these words and anxieties. Certainly, my parenting worry made her feel worse, and it led me to know how I could help my daughter be fitter.
I could undo her feeling guilty while also helping her decrease the probability of becoming more stressed. We all could do these basic things in our parenting to assist our fitter children stay like that. These tiny actions have huge effects in reducing children’s tension.
What to do?
- Smile – I understood that when I approached my daughter when she was sick I looked worried or concerned. This contributed much to her sense stressed.
- Use Positive Phrases – You know how your sick kid feels. Asking “What’s wrong?” Forces a child to consider that. Asking “What’s good?” Or “What’s right?” Or “What’s feeling better?” Or “What’s improves?” Encourages positive ideas about feeling healthier.
- Touching and Cuddling – Yes, we are all busy and yes it’s easy simply to park a sick kid in the front of the television. But that does nothing to decrease the child’s awareness of what a burden he or she is for you when ill. Children feel safer when we can touch, bond, and hold them if their world looks dreary. Studies reveal touching and bonding fortify the immune system, literally. Sit and hold your sick kid for some of the TV time. Put them in your lap and read a story together.
- Do Quiet Time Activities Together – Undertaking quiet time activities together can help make both your child and you feel better. When my daughter was sick we brought pictures, colored layouts, played games, and watched the birds in the feeder through her window.
- Envision Healthier Children – Another silent activity that we loved was closing our eyes and pretending that our eyes had x-ray vision like Superman. My daughter could scan her body along with her meaty eyesight and tell me what parts felt , what the stomach would love to consume, and how she had been advancing. It can seem like a silly activity, but recent studies have demonstrated that for patients with severe illnesses, such as cancer and immune system disorders, quite similar recovery imagery has a positive impact. Thinking about being healthy can really help our bodies be fitter, and that is precisely what we need for our healthier children.
- Listen – Stress weakens the immune system, and the things causing anxiety in our children’s lives often go unnoticed until they erupt into stomach aches, aches, an accident, and much more. Simply asking, “What’s happening at school?” or “How are your friends?” Or “What sounds hard on your life right now?” can make a difference. As parents, we do not need to fix it or make it better. Often, listening is enough! There’s no avoiding exposure to the germs and viruses that may result in the frequent childhood illnesses. But we can protect against them.
Giving our kids a nutritious diet and making sure they get loads of rest are a few ways to accomplish that. As important is providing a loving environment and reducing anxiety. And if illness should attack, allowing your child understand that your primary desire is their good health, rather than merely end the hassle of having a sick kid, can help to make the process of getting well simpler and quicker.