Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 8/18/2009 1:54:32 PM (GMT-6)
Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 8/18/2009 1:54:50 PM (GMT-6)
Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 8/18/2009 1:55:28 PM (GMT-6)
Post Edited By Moderator (Nanners) : 8/18/2009 1:55:57 PM (GMT-6)
What a good question and one we all need to think about. My kids are all grown, but that doesn't mean a serious disease does not affect them. My fam. has been through lots of diseases and deaths, and we have 13 small ones to always consider. Here's what we learned by trial and error, remember, this may not work with everone. We have always included the kids, grown and little. We always explain stuff (diseases) to them the best we can then they filter it all according to their minds:We always answer questions honestly, ex: "no honey, I "probably" won't die from Crohn's but there will be times when I will be very sick and in alot of pain"; or in our case: "yes honey, your grma or your dad will probably die from this cancer, but we will make as many memories as we can and just take a day at a time." This road is not easy, no disease is, but children (in my belief) are really smart little people, and the more we try to hide or we forget to explain, that is what scares them the most. Sometimes we don't know what to say to a child, then say that. Tell them you don't know what to say, ask them a direct question about what they need/want to know. Going to the doc with us has usually seemed to help, the ones that don't want to go don't have to go, there is enough of us to babysit! Give your child choices, like:"this is a bad day for me, I hurt alot or I am really sick, would you like to help me in some way? Would you like to watch a movie with me? Would you like to just be on you own?" A couple of my gr-daus always feel important cause they "remind" me to take my meds, I let them believe it is hard for me to remember (sometimes it is!), so they are important by reminding me to take them.They can tell when I am having a bad day, even the 4 yr old will ask me, "you sick or your belly hurt?" I answer them honestly and then they seem to understand if I can't Play with them.
I'm sorry for the rambling, today is not a good day for me, I am just plain sick, my dau is coming over to help clean my house, that is not like me at all. And the 4 yr old with her will know that "granna is sick today" and his method of making it all better is to kiss my belly and watch tom and jerry cartoons!!!
I hope this helps some with the kids, we have always just treated them like smart little people and have gotten them books and pamplets to read that are geared toward kids.I'd be happy to talk with you more on this if I can be of any help at all, I would be honored.