When one of your kids becomes sick, it’s the worst feeling in the world for you as a parent. Not only does it make your heartache to watch your little one as she battles illness, it’s difficult to deal with a sick child in general. Unlike adults, small children don’t always know how to tell you what hurts. For example, when my 2-year-old is sick and she’s going to throw up, she asks to take a bath and starts ripping her clothes off. She doesn’t know how to put into words that she’s feeling sick and is about to vomit, so she does the next best thing; asks in advance for what she knows we will do to clean her up. Here are three tips for dealing with a sick child.
It’s not always easy to be patient when your child is ill. She might have a high fever and a terrible tummy ache, but you still have dishes and laundry and older children who need to go to school and do homework or a career that needs your attention. Here’s the honest to goodness truth; it doesn’t matter. Your kids have to come first when they are sick and if that means lying on the couch for two days with her in your lap, that’s what you’re doing. Remember; your dishes will still be there later.
Focus on Her Needs
Your child needs you, but she also needs you to anticipate her needs. If she’s burning up, a tepid bath might comfort her. If she’s not eating or drinking, you have to worry about dehydration and do whatever it takes to get food and liquid in her body. This might mean bribing her with flavored ice pops or ice chips, promising her a trip to the store for a new toy if she eats two crackers or just downright begging. You have to focus on what she needs from you.
Right now, it’s hard to remember that your child doesn’t care that it’s two o’clock in the morning and you’re exhausted. What she needs is your love. If that means getting up and holding her while she cries because she feels so horrible, you will get up and do just that. Just love her; it won’t make her better, but it will help.