Sometimes, parenting feels like a thankless task when no one can understand the pain you’re going through. Day in and day out, parents cook, clean, shop, and do all kinds of chores to ensure the house is a haven for the family. What do they get in return? Most are met with indifference or do not receive enough recognition. For example, everyone retreats to their room after a family dinner instead helping out with clean up.
If you are a parent with chronic pain, explaining your condition to children can be challenging when they are young. According to Dionne Van Zyl, children today have enough sense that they want to learn how to help their parents relax. Parents should make their children understand that when they are in pain, they should be treated with care. For example, your 12-year-old might have felt angry that you were not as active as other parents or able to participate in certain hobbies. Instead of asking about your pain, they sulked in the corner, not talking to you.
Making your young ones understand what you are going through can be a little challenging. Here are some tips that will help you teach your children how to tap into their caring instincts:
4 Tips by Dionne Van Zyl for Parents in Pain
Tell Them About Your Pain
Most parents suffer in silence without talking about their pain. This invisible illness is difficult to understand, so you need to teach your children to listen. For example, you could express your feelings in front of your children by saying, “Mommy is a bit tired. Would you like to sit by me for a while as I rest?”
Make Mornings Easy On Yourself
Those who experience chronic pain don’t have easy mornings. Dionne Van Zyl says sleep is challenging, and as the sun rises and you get out of bed, you will have extreme joint pain. Instead of waiting for your child to wake up, make them an early riser.
Show them how they can help you in the kitchen, such as setting the breakfast table, helping dad make the coffee, etc. Develop a routine where they can become the little helper. This exercise will not only make your morning a bit easier and energetic but also put a smile on your face.
Dionne Van Zyl Recommends Hiring Help
If you are working and earning for yourself, how about giving yourself time off from your hectic life? Hire a maid to clean the house, do laundry, etc. Plenty of mundane tasks drain you, and a helping hand will give you the peace of mind that you can rely on someone. Go on regular weekly dates and get a babysitter for your children. A bit of fresh air will do you a world of good and take your mind off all the responsibilities waiting for you at home.
Spend Quality Time With Them
There’s no pain that a heart-to-heart can’t fix. If your children are teens, a simple chat will get them to be on the same page as you. As for a fun time with young ones, plan weekly dinners. Instead of eating a home-cooked meal, take them out. Go to a park and have fun on the rides with your children. Do something silly they find joy in, which can relieve stress and divert your mind from thoughts about pain.
In conclusion, talking about anything that puts you at ease will show your children that you also need love and care. So, Dionne Van Zyl says to develop a bond with your children to help them understand how difficult parenting can be.