Worrying for your child is part of being a parent. From when they take their first steps and their first day of school all the way through to their wedding day, you’ll never completely stop worrying for them. When they’re sick, this worry can get even stronger. The last thing you want when your child is already poorly is for your worries to cause more anxiety for your child, which can often happen. To keep your worries under control and make sure that you can be a supportive parent to your child, here are some tips on how to talk through anxiety over your child’s health.
Seek advice before your anxiety gets out of control.
The best way to tackle misplaced anxiety is with facts and data. Especially with children, doctors will understand the concern of a parent if their child starts exhibiting unusual symptoms, so don’t be worried about seeking a medical opinion. Young children can often exhibit symptoms in their early years that can be easily solved before turning into bigger issues.
For example, according to this pediatric audiology testing organization, Hearing Health USA, the most important time for children’s hearing and speech development is their first three years. That’s just one example where looking into some unusual symptoms with your child’s ear could save them a bunch of trouble down the line.
Back your own instincts.
There are lots of different resources out there, and they’re all telling you what’s best for your child. Some of them hold merit, such as why you shouldn’t buy an iPad for your child, but when it comes to more serious health problems, trust your gut. You know your child better than anyone else, so don’t let external advice cloud your judgement. Trust medical professionals, but it’s also a good idea not to listen to every would-be medical advisor on the internet. A parent’s instinct is something powerful, so listen to what it’s telling you.
Turn fear into action.
Fear for your child can be paralyzing, so to truly help them, it’s important to find something practical to do. Make them an appointment with a specialist to get them the appropriate treatment, make them their favorite meal, or buy them a cozy outfit for their sick day. Whatever it is, giving yourself some concrete tasks to focus on will help take your mind off of the problem at hand.
Children also respond well to routine, so sticking to your normal everyday tasks will help them stay calm as well. An older child will notice if you start acting out of the ordinary, and no matter the child’s age, they’ll definitely notice if their own routine changes. Keep them calm and treat any specific needs they might have as normal occurrences. Their own anxiety won’t help their symptoms get better, so do your best to act as though nothing is wrong.
Get help for yourself if necessary.
Having an ill child is stressful for everyone involved. If you think you need help in the form of a therapy session, but you don’t have the time to go to face-to-face therapy, then an online therapist could be the way to go. You can fit in a session around your duties as a parent and get some extra support so you can be there better for your child. You can often select certain criteria to make sure you find a good match for your therapist. Don’t feel like not being able to go to an in-person session precludes you from accessing mental health support. At the end of the day, to be there for your child, your own health needs to be in good shape, so make sure you take care of yourself.