During infancy and childhood, most children have some kind of health issues that need to be taken seriously by the parents. However, some parents find it difficult to grasp these issues and, as a result, treat their children without giving them the proper love, care and respect they deserve. Neglecting these health issues and shrugging them off as “development issues” is a horrible habit and it could lead to severe health issues that will negatively impact your child’s health when they grow older. This makes it extremely important to understand, research, and cope with these health issues no matter what they may be.

Children can suffer anything from common respiratory issues like asthma to more troubling issues such as epilepsy or diabetes. It’s important to visit a doctor regularly when your child is still developing so that you can determine what health issues your child has and how to deal with them. However, even when your doctor gives you plenty of documentation and advice on how to cope with it, it can be hard to believe and you might find yourself in doubt or feeling troubled.

Learning how to accept the issues

With chronic conditions affecting anywhere between 15% to 20% of all children in developed countries, it’s more common than you think. It’s important that you cope with it first by accepting that it happened to your child. They are still your offspring, so treat them with the love and care they deserve and accept what has happened because there is no changing it. Don’t treat them like a failed child, don’t treat them any differently to your other children, and don’t forget they have a bright future ahead of them. As long as you accept this fact and come to terms with the reality of the situation, you’ll find it easier to act in the future. You might need to spend more money looking for an affordable medical center to treat them, you might have to buy books or expensive medicine, and you may even need to purchase additional study material to help them catch up with school. Whatever the implications may be, try your best to accept it.

Researching the issue

The first step to accepting and coping is to research the issue. Whether it’s asthma or something more serious, you have to look online, ask friends and consult your doctor on what the problem actually is. Work feverishly by printing out as much material as possible and study it as best you can. If you don’t understand something, ask a more experienced friend or a doctor to help you. There are plenty of online communities that specialise in helping parents cope with their children’s health issues, so don’t be shy and try to find other parents who are in a similar situation. By making friends with parents who also have children that suffer the same effects, you can share tips with each other, seek advice, and tell each other stories to help ease the stress. Once your child is old enough, you can teach them how to cope with their own health issues and give them plenty of advice for their future. When you grow older, you can give back to the communities that helped you and your child through the acceptance phase and hand down advice to young and new parents.

Ignoring abusive comments

You’re going to get plenty of nasty comments about your child from unsavoury people. Whether it’s bullies in your child’s school making fun of health issues or other parents who can’t help but make nasty comments, you need to learn to ignore these people. They’re bad people who put down others to make themselves feel taller, so don’t buy into that by ignoring their comments. Refuse to challenge their taunts and be the better parent by giving them a simple request to stop. If you feel like the comments are becoming abusive, then you can contact the local authorities or even the school to see what they can do to help. Just remember that for every nasty character there is, there several people who are willing to stand in your corner in order to defend your rights and help your child.

Dealing with separations

There may be times when your child has to be separated from their friends due to their health issues, or even taken to hospital for overnight stays. When your child is still young, it’s incredibly important that you spend as much time as possible with them. Bring them school books, help them study and invite their friends over. It’s also important to try and teach your child’s friends about the health issues and how they can help or avoid aggravating them. Best friends will always help each other out no matter the situation, and it will make it easier for your child to grow up with people who they can count on. Hospitals can be frightening for young children and if it’s associated with cold and lonely nights alone in a patient bed, it can easily scar them mentally in the future. Take time off work whenever possible and always spend time with them through the night.

Be honest with your child

When your child is old enough to understand the implications of their health issues, it’s important that you speak with them in a calm and relaxed tone and be honest. Tell them all about their health issues, remind them what it means and how treatments will work, and tell them the limits they have due to those health issues. The sooner you tell them, the more chance they’ll have of accepting the illnesses they are born with and the faster they can become independent. However, it’s important not to alienate your child by telling them they’re “different”. Try your best to encourage your child to continue their daily activities and participate in things like sports, and give them the freedom to be autonomous. Whether it’s taking medicine, injecting something or changing bandages and cleaning wounds, allow your child to learn how to take care of themselves.

Raising a child with chronic health conditions can be a daunting task, but it’s incredibly important that you provide them with as much support as possible while also teaching them about the implications of their condition.