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How to Parent After an Injury

31.5.19

If you've ever been unwell or had an injury as a parent, then you will understand just how difficult it can be. The change in circumstances could also leave your little one/s feeling uncertain or insecure too. It is most likely that they will look to you for comfort to help them understand and cope with their feelings. Of course, as a parent you want to do what’s best for them. But just how do you parent while injured or unwell? In this post I'm going to share a few of my top tips for coping, so hopefully you can survive!


Put Yourself First
It is a parents instinct to put their child’s needs before their own. But sometimes you do need to put yourself first! Think of it this way - if there's an emergency on a plane, you need to put your own oxygen mask on first, before you are able to help someone else. The same principle applies if you are injured or unwell. You need to think of yourself if you want to recover quickly!

If your children are old enough, get them to do some of tasks that you usually do for them, such as packing their school lunches or making their own breakfasts. If your children are younger and still unable to do certain tasks, then why not ask a friends or family members to come over and support you.

Communication is Key
The active imagination of children, can often lead them to get the wrong idea about what is really happening in a situation. Therefore having good communication between everyone is going to help make the circumstances a lot easier.

Allow your child to ask questions about the situation - explain how you got injured at work, or what the illness you have is. The more your child knows, the less scared and confused they will be. Of course make sure you share any information in clear, age-appropriate ways though, as too much information can just confuse a young child more!

Help is Good
Although our children may see us as superheroes, we also need help every now and then. Especially if you have injured your leg leaving you unable to drive, or cannot leave the house. If your partner can’t get away from work and you can’t drive, then why not consider having your children use the school bus until you recover, or asking a class parent you trust to help you out.

When it comes to caring for them after school, perhaps look into school aftercare until your partner is home, or even hire a nanny for during the evening. This will give you the peace of mind that your children are in safe hands, as well as giving you time to rest and recover. You may also need help emotionally. There is absolutely no shame in seeking professional help. Your doctor can give you support, and possibly refer you to someone who is more qualified in that area o help.


Stick to your Regular Routines
From my experience, most children get very distressed when their regular routine is changed. Of course there are going to be some parts of your routine that will need to be adapted. But when doing this, make sure to explain to your child when these changes will happen and why. By keeping them informed they will know what to expect and ultimately react calmer. Try and at least keep meal times and the bedtime routine as close to normal as possible, as this will help them settle better for bed.

Check in with your Child's Teacher
A big change in a child's life can affect how they behave outside of the home too. It’s therefore a good idea to check in with your child’s teacher, to let them know what is happening with you and how it may affect your child. Your child's teacher may also be able to help with reassuring your child, and support you with finding out of school clubs if you should need them.

This is a collaborative post.

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