Heartfeltwords4kids's Blog

Tip 47 for Parents Who Have a Seriously Ill Child

Posted on: June 5, 2010

Children get sick, and some of them get really really sick. After a diagnosis and the first few days or weeks of treatments, reality sets in for most parents and auto pilot goes on the fritz.

You now realize this is stressing you out. How do you cope with an illness and treatment plan that may last weeks, months, and even years?

In my new e-book 61 Tips for Coping When Your Child has Cancer  I list 61 one helpful ideas that will ease your stress and increase your ability to cope during the trying times when your child is ill.

Tip 47 is a very simple concept but so often overlooked in the days of serious and uncertain illness. Plan for FUN. Even if you only can pack in 15 minutes of fun a day, in the middle of a serious illness and treatment plan, those fifteen minutes can be life-changing. Your child is still a child, regardless of the magnitude of the illness. Fun is an essential part of childhood, and yes, even fifteen minutes will make memories.

Scheduled fun does not have to be a play date with friends, an expensive day trip, or involve going somewhere or spending money.

Fun can be setting a timer and making silly faces to see who breaks down and laughs first. Fun can be making a paste out of koolaid powder and spiking the tips of your child’s hair… calling it a purple day or a green day. (Koolaid will wash out in 2-3 shampoos and is a non-toxic but it will stain your fingers so use plastic gloves.)

Fun can also be making a card for another child, even if you don’t know his or her name. Sending it to a local hospital pediatric department where it can be distributed to a child who may need encouragement is a way to put the focus on someone else who is also having a difficult time.

Fun can be playing with play dough, finger painting, playing with silly string, or doing a simple craft for a few minutes. It is time to sit and do an activity with your child totally unrelated to his or her illness and treatment.

Fun can also be sitting and watching cartoons for 15 minutes or a good movie. Playing guessing games, matching games, cards, or doing something with glue and colored paper can all be inexpensive ways to have fun.

Anything that can make you and your child smile or laugh for even a few minutes a day, is stress relief. Laughter lowers blood pressure, increases hormones that improve immunity, and exercises facial muscles.

No matter how hard your day is or how serious the situation, our Creator created laughter and smiling as a blessing. It is also a great way to share a few minutes of happiness with your child and it definitely makes memories.

Schedule some fun. Go ahead, really, Have a little fun today. It will make you smile.

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