How can our family cope with a chronically ill child at home?

Family coping strategies include:

  • Keep the household routine as normal as possible.
  • Remember that children do best when their daily routine is predictable and consistent, even though this won’t always be possible given doctor’s appointments, tests, flare-ups, or whatever else is on your plate.
  • Prepare everyone in the family for any upcoming medical procedures your child may need by explaining what’s being done, why, and how long it will take.
  • Resist the temptation to coddle your child. It will be harder for him to participate in normal activities and may even create a relationship in which you both become needy and dependent on one another.
  • Set limits and keep discipline consistent, which will reassure him and provide all your children with structure and security.
  • Encourage all family members to talk about their feelings.
  • Remind each other that people everywhere are dealing with illnesses, disabilities, and challenges like the one your family is facing. Bring up some of the famous role models you’ve found.
  • Try to stay upbeat and positive. One psychologist who is an expert in dealing with chronically ill children tells families, “Eighty percent of what we worry about never happens.” Keep that thought in the front of your brain.

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

More About this Book

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent,...

Continue Learning about Family Challenges & Problems

How can we reduce selfishness in our family?
Michele BorbaMichele Borba
Here are a few ways to reduce selfishness in your family: Give part of your allowance to charity....
More Answers
How do I deal with tension in my marriage after return from deployment?
Challenge AmericaChallenge America
Homecoming from military service is a joyous occasion for most service members and their spouses or ...
More Answers
How do I plan for a service member’s homecoming?
Challenge AmericaChallenge America
Thinking ahead and planning for a service member’s homecoming is a good idea. The day of your servic...
More Answers
How can I help my family stay optimistic during tough times?
Dr. Kathleen HallDr. Kathleen Hall
Tough times will happen in a family. It may be a child failing a class, the emotional break up with ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.