Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Toddlers and Treatments

I recently received a great (and very common) question from a momma in the CF community. I thought that many of you could relate to her question and I hope that some of you get something from my answer :)

I was curious to know when u were a child how did you feel about doing treatments?**** understands she does them to stay healthy but every now and again she will get upset while doing them and say things like "I wanna b like everyone else!" "none of my friends have to do this!"She is only 5, I know it's going to be hard to relate all this to her but I wondered how your parents helped u to understand. And if understanding even helped with the anger. And how to help with the anger they feel surrounding cf.Thank u for always answering these questions you are such a valuable resource to us parents!

That's a tough age and a common problem...

First piece of advice, always, like 100% of the time, follow through with the "law" you lay down. Even at a young age, if my mom said it was going to happen, it happened. She made it very clear that first came treatments, and then came whatever I wanted to do. She never backed down - not even once. I knew that if I fought treatments, my life would suck, and she would make sure of it 

My mom also made it clear that no one is "normal" - what is that anyway??  She said that some people have braces, some brown hair, some are tall, some are short, some are fast, some have glasses and some have cystic fibrosis. She also encouraged me to be very open about it as it's not something to be ashamed of or to hide from anyone.

Also, have you ever connected with Lisa Greene and read through any of her stuff. My mom, unknowingly, used many of the techniques that Lisa (mom with 2 kids with CF) teaches in her courses as well as writes about in her book. CysticLife also co-authored many of our materials with her that I would highly recommend that you read:

Finally, there are many parents who make treatment time a great family bonding experience. They may only watch TV together during treatments, or play games, or braid each others hair, etc. In fact, I find myself doing that as an adult - only allowing myself to go on websites that I like IF I'm doing my treatment!

Hope I answered your question. Just remember - it's easier to start now and feel some short-term pain and angst then start later. Teach good habits before bad ones are developed.

Shoot, last thing - I promise that she'll thank you for it in the future. I've never heard a fellow "older" CFer say "I wish my parents didn't make me do so many treatments". I have however heard many CFers say "I WISH my parents would have made me do treatments". She may hate you for it now, but she'll love you for it later.