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Supporting Children Who’ve Been Diagnosed with Chronic Illness

– Hello, and welcome to
this month’s Maggie Moment. Today, I want to chat a little bit about when our children get diagnosed with a serious illness, and an illness that’s going to last, possibly for their whole life or for a really
significant length of time. One of the first things I
know parents will experience is unbelievable fear and
unbelievable sadness. Because all of a sudden, the dream we had of having a healthy, happy child has actually kind of been ripped away. And it does make people feel
really, really unsettled. We wanna protect our
children from everything, if we possibly can. I have had a bit of that experience, with one of my beautiful boys, who was diagnosed with type
1 diabetes when he was 17. And I do remember the
journey of grieving, first, because exactly what I’ve just explained. The life we had envisaged for him was no longer possible. But I need us to
recognise that in terms of resilience, in terms of
coming to terms with a major, adverse illness or
unwellness with our children, is that we to kind of get
ourselves through that as soon as possible, so we can step up and be the big people, the safe, big people that
our children need to lean on, on that journey. And that means we don’t pick
them up and rescue them. We don’t overinvolve ourself. And I know that almost
sounds like it’s unkind. But what we do know around illness is when children are given the information about what it is, how
we’re going to manage it or deal with it, then they can let go of some of their irrational fears as well. What they really need to know is, you’re going to be beside me, all the way, no matter what happens. And that’s just that voice
that happens in major, adverse events for our
children, at any point. They need to know. We’re going to be beside them, that we’ve got it. So again, in that journey, there are times we will
overworry and overstress. And we will lay awake at night, wondering, “Oh my goodness, are they going to be okay “in 20 years time or 10 years time?” That is normal. However, if you are particularly a mummy who is letting that become irrational, and it’s actually taking away the ability for you to
be a joyful and warm mum, please go and seek some professional help. Because we do know
there are lots of people working in this area of health. And they can facilitate and help you get into a better place, so you are able to be the
parent that your child needs on this big, long
journey, whatever that is. The illness is theirs. We can’t take it from them. However, we can empower
them and ourselves, to help them deal with that in the best possible way. So I hope that is a
little bit helpful, again. The whole journey is one of those things. We want a perfect life, don’t we? But it doesn’t always turn out like that. If that has been helpful for you, please feel free to share it. And that’s all, for now.

One thought on “Supporting Children Who’ve Been Diagnosed with Chronic Illness

  1. I needed his. Our 8year old son has been diagnosed with (hopefully) childhood epilepsy and it’s been a battle and has almost broken our family. It’s changed his personality and we are trying so hard to support him with all the resources we have including a psychologist for him. We were grieving so much that we hadn’t considered how the wee guy was dealing with it himself. Thank you Maggie.

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