Parenting brings many challenges, and one of the hardest to deal with is when your child is ill. When this illness is more than a tummy bug or a broken bone, then it gets even harder. Parenting a child with a chronic health condition brings a whole new list of challenges, and adjusting to the diagnosis can be tough for all of the family. Jump! Mag contributor Tina Price-Johnson grew up with a chronic health condition, and wrote an article for children, published today on our site for kids.
Here’s Tina’s advice for parents of a child with a chronic health condition.
I was 11 years old and in my first year at senior school when I had my first seizure. I was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy and throughout senior school was back and forth to the hospital to see specialists and determine the correct dose of medication. I was generally accompanied by my mum who had to take time off work, and it was my dad who saw my first fit and put into action his first aid training to give me the care I needed at the time. After that it was both parents or my teachers who provided this care.
I was totally freaked out and didn’t know what was happening or why and nor did my parents. In those days you simply did what the doctors told you and didn’t ask questions, and I wish I had asked. So here are my tips for parenting a child with a chronic condition, from the perspective of the child. I hope they are helpful to you:
Whenever there is a news report about teaching kids about consent, we hear the same responses. The Daily Mail shouts about primary school kids being taught about rape and abuse. Someone will complain that #notallmen are rapists, and how dare we suggest otherwise. A male student will object to being invited to a consent workshop. The weird thing is, that teaching kids about consent isn’t actually about sex, and it isn’t at all radical. It isn’t even part of an anti-man conspiracy.
On Thursday 15th October, the basement of the Science Museum in London was filled with 15 and 16 year olds competently assembling circuits, designing smart gadgets and using laser cutters and 3D printers to bring their creations to life. The atmosphere was buzzing, filled with the excited voices of young engineers as they traded ideas and competed to see who could build the most impressive device. This was the first #PrettyCurious workshop, and all the teenagers were young women.
According to Planned Parenthood, teens who had good, honest conversations with their parents about sex are more likely to delay sexual activity, have fewer partners and use condoms or other contraceptives when they do have sex.
So how do you talk to your kids about sex and puberty, so that they are informed of the changes ahead, know how they can protect themselves, and how to react to the pressures from others? Without euphemisms or embarrassment.
One of the members of our Facebook group posted this excellent blog on the ‘mean girls’ scenario, that we are told is all just a part of girls being girls.
In a discussion afterwards, we talked about encouraging sisterhood in teens, and how to introduce the concept to girls, so that they start supporting each other rather than seeing themselves as competitors. Here are Jayne’s tips:
As the nights start drawing in, and the end of the holidays near, we turn our attention to the worst part of the school holidays. Getting ready to go back to school. Does any of this sound familiar?