When a child is diagnosed with a chronic illness, it can be distressing for the parents. Coping with such a situation is an ongoing process that takes its toll on people. You will experience a wide range of emotions: anger, depression, fear, and denial. On some days, you will feel as if the world is against you.
You can employ different strategies when going through this hard time with your family. Here are some of the strategies that will help you during this difficult time:
Get Social Support
Receiving support from friends and family during such a difficult time is important. Find a friend who can lend a listening ear and offer support. This will help to bring some normalcy back into your life.
You should be able to tell your family and friends about your anxieties and worries without fear of judgment. Communication is key if you want to establish a good support network. A local support group presents an opportunity to meet with parents who are going through the same experience. Other parents can offer helpful advice such as where to get hearing aids.
Check Online Support Groups
You should visit online support groups to find out how others are dealing with similar situations. Through online forums, you can connect with others who have dealt with similar (or the same) situations. However, you need to be careful because the web can be overwhelming – just take the necessary information and do not assume that every bit of info that you find online is good.
Look after Yourself
When going through a stressful period, looking after yourself can be an afterthought. You cannot look after your child without taking care of yourself. As selfish as this might sound, you need to strengthen yourself first so that you can find the strength to pour into others.
You should take some time to relax and do whatever you like – this will re-energize you. Exercise is a great stress reliever; if you can find the time to work out, you should do it. For example, taking a walk around the block might help to relieve your stress.
Educate and Advocate
You should be your child’s biggest advocate. You can do this by educating yourself about the condition with which your child is struggling. Make sure that you form strong relationships with all the professionals that are in your child’s life, such as the school staff and any medical teams involved.
When unsure, you should ask questions to become fully informed. When looking for information online, you should be wary because each issue has different perspectives.
Consider Individual Therapy
Individual therapy will allow you to deal with all the emotional experiences that you might be going through. Some family doctors usually have access to counseling or psychological information.
When looking for information such as ‘how to treat sinus infections’ online, you should also look for a good therapist – online therapy can be helpful at times but does not always help you navigate certain issues.
Find Financial Support
Chronic illnesses can put a strain on your family no matter how rich you are. For this reason, you should consider asking about financial aid such as Disability Allowance. If your child has a serious disability, you are more than likely to get financial assistance. This money will go a long way towards helping you to care for your child.
If your child has been diagnosed, you can look for financial assistance, take care of yourself, consider individual therapy, get social support, join internet forums, and educate yourself. Doing these things will help you to cope.
For more great health tips to help you and your family, check out the other blogs on Cyber Parent.