We can capitalize on the natural ability of children to tend towards health and fast recovery. Here are some simple suggestions for the caregivers and parents who are supporting a child who is dealing with pain, painful treatment or chemotherapy:
– Do not dramatize the situation.
If a child sees his parents’ crying their eyeballs out, he will conclude that the situation is very bad and will have difficulty going towards recovery. You have to project a strong feeling. I am in no way telling you to lie to your child but rather to offer them the support they need. If you need support or to cry please do it with the appropriate support.
– Tell the truth:
Children can see through us more than we want to admit. If you are lying to your child or hiding the truth from him, he will know it and will have trouble trusting you and that can affect his recovery.
– Do not forget that your child is still just a child.
Although sick children or children experiencing pain tend to mature faster, they are still children inside and need to play and live their childhood.
Many hospitals have made the effort to address the children’s imagination by painting their walls with princess and cartoons but too often still the instruments and personnel are frightening to a small child.
One day I went to a Subway® restaurant with my four children and they all got to order their own sub. As I was getting a little impatient with my three year old daughter who was taking too long to order, I just bent my knees and put myself at her level. Sure enough, she could not see the other side of the counter and this is the reason she could not tell me what she wanted in her sandwich. Once I picked her up in my arms, he order came flying through!
– Put yourself in your child’s tiny shoes.
If you feel your child is being difficult or non-collaborating, ask yourself why. Better yet, you can ask him gently. Often, if you ask it the proper way, you will get the answer.
This article’s aim is to help you understand the process of healing and health. You can use games that will fire up your child’s imagination toward healing and health. These games could be played on a computer. The first game could be called: “Bobo the Hero”. Please read the instructions provided below to your child before he or she starts the game. You can easily imagine that playing this game while receiving chemotherapy or waiting at the hospital might make it way easier for your child. It will also have the effect of boosting his immune system which is an essential element in recovery. It is also a scientifically proven fact that a happy person has a release of endorphins which help in maintaining a better health.
Here are the instructions: (for the first game- designed for younger children)
Dear____________ (name of child)
Meet Bobo the Hero. Bobo is your friend who is going to help you get better. Your mission is to play with Bobo and help him catch all the little tricky monsters that are on your way. Do not worry if some monsters seam to get away from you as Bobo is always working in your body to make you feel wonderful and will keep on catching the little monsters even when you are sleeping, eating, having fun with your family or playing with your friends.
(You can then sit next to your child as he is playing the game and encourage him when he catches a monster with positive encouragement like “good job!” “well done” etc ).
For the other game you can call it “Blast Hero” your child is the hero fighting some foreign enemies. It is aimed for older children (like over 7 years old for instance). You will not need to instruct him much as discovering the levels of the game is part of the learning and experience.
In an ideal world, no baby or children would ever suffer or experience pain. In reality, pain is part of everyone’s life and children are not immune. Our task as adults is to make the pain as short and minimal as possible and support our children towards healing and health.