Chronic illness and nagging medical issues are not for adults only but how can we raise our children to overcome their issues rather than give in to them?
We show them. We work with them on coping and life skills that will help. We gently direct and guide our children in towards paths that are most suited to them.
Here are 5 ways we can help our kids learn to overcome.
- Acknowledge the issue. One of my teen daughters is ripping through math as fast as I can get it for her. A distant family member laughed about her being an astronaut. That isn’t possible for my daughter given her genetic disease. However that doesn’t mean she can’t come up with a totally new space ship using her math skills. We have openly talked with her specialists about her body’s abilities and she has thought about the possibilities that leaves her. She wants to have a Dr in math by 20 years old. That is not a second class choice! Good for her!
- Persistence pays off. Just because you don’t get what you want the first time doesn’t mean to quit. Just because someone comes along and tells you can’t do that doesn’t mean they are right. I have friends that are working on the Hill for the rights of those with rare diseases while dealing with significant disease issues themselves but they are working it out day by day!
- Gather Your Team! Have a team of people that surround you that are hopeful, encouraging, realistic and no matter what in your corner! That person you can call on your great days and celebrate with. Also the person that you text and beg off dinner because you have used all your spoons and need to just stay in bed curled up with your Kindle.
- It’s a Process. Not everything has a clean end. Not every goal has a neat completion point with a pretty bow. Often life throws a curve. Your special need may make a goal you were going to complete in 6 months turn into a couple of year marathon.
- Your body changes. Just because you could drive today doesn’t mean you will be able to tomorrow thanks to that nasty seizure. Or lupus is causing a slow decline in your health meaning you have to adjust your hobbies like hiking in country areas by yourself. Don’t count these as defeats or something stolen from you. When you start down that road you are just inviting frustration and anger into your life.
Our children should have every opportunity to overcome and move towards areas that they are blessed in. But face it as a parent of a young adult I realize that when it comes down to it they make the decisions and we have to step back.
Cheer from the sidelines.
Remind your child that the size of the paycheck does not necessarily mean that is the healthiest option or the most fulfilling option for their future. Help your child grow up and build a foundation of love support and encouragement that will be with them through the rough times and hopefully the many many great times!