“Mommy doesn’t feel good.”
Having a parent who is living with a chronic condition can have a big impact on children. And parents don’t always know how to talk about their illness with their kid. Especially when it comes to emotions.
How is that conversation going at your house?
Kids can be left with questions that they are afraid to ask, while parents do their best to keep life as normal as possible for their children and assume everything is fine. But appearances can be deceiving. All of this can leave children feeling confused and scared, even if they appear to be taking it all in stride.
Just because children don’t appear to be worried, doesn’t mean that they aren’t. Children learn to stay positive out of fear that they will cause their parents additional worry. They may also interpret their parent’s insistence in maintaining a positive attitude as a signal that they aren’t supposed to express their own feelings.
What it comes down to is that when one member of the household is diagnosed with a chronic condition, everybody receives the diagnosis because they are all affected by it in some way. And the challenges that a chronic condition brings can leave everybody with a lot of feelings. Not talking about emotions doesn’t make them go away.
While stressful at times, having a parent with a chronic condition can also provide an opportunity for growth. Children can learn to be more independent, and compassionate, and you can develop a deeper relationship with your children that includes sharing of emotions and joint problem-solving.
Are you talking about emotions with your child? If you haven’t had talked to your children about how they are feeling, or haven’t done it lately, here’s a link to an article in Living with Diabetes to help you get started:
Any ideas or experiences to share?
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