When a parent has pain, the children know it. But parents should be upfront, and approach their children with information. PainPathways provided interesting and relevant insight into ways that others have done this. We’re happy to share it with you!
Tips for talking with your child about pain:
– Expect to have this talk more than once. In some ways, talking to your child about chronic pain is like talking about sex. You’ll have to reinforce your messages over and over again, and modify them as your child gets older and can understand more.
– Keep it simple and honest. “Mommy hurts” is a good place to start with a younger child. Explain to them that there are some things other parents can do that you can’t. Also, tell them what your condition is called and what it means.
– Reassure them. Your child needs to know that you aren’t going to die, and that chronic pain isn’t contagious – just because you have it doesn’t mean they’ll get it.
– Let them help. Just bringing you a glass of water can make a child feel special and important. Just be careful that your child doesn’t turn into the caregiver.
– Listen to your child’s concerns. Ask your child what it is about your condition that really bothers them. But do it on their timetable. If they come to you upset or concerned, don’t just say “it’s okay” – ask them what upsets them.
To read the full PainPathways article, click here.