When Children Are Caregivers

If you have children, then there may be times when
you ask for their help—with chores around the house,
fixing a meal, or just being quiet so you can take a
nap. Most children are expected to help out around the
house in some way, but children of parents with lupus
may be asked more often. Here are a few tips for
encouraging your children to pitch in when you need

  • Assign regular jobs. If there are things you need
    your children to do every day or every week, make
    these a part of their regular chore list, such as
    clearing away the dinner dishes or taking out the
    garbage. Most of their friends probably have regular
    chores too, so they won’t feel like their lives are that
    different. You’ll also be teaching your kids how to be
    helpful family members, and strengthening your
    family bond in the process.
  • Keep tasks age appropriate. Just like you would with assigning regular chores, keep tasks age appropriate so your children feel confident about helping. But keep in mind that they may feel overwhelmed at times, and may act out as a result. If that happens, try to talk reassuringly with them, to calm any fears or anxiety they may have.
  • Encourage independence. Many children are ready
    to do more for themselves than their parents may
    realize. Encourage your children to be self-reliant
    and clean up after themselves in the kitchen, put
    away their own toys, and as they get older, do their
    own laundry. They’ll become more independent and
    confident, and there will be less for you and your
    spouse to do.
  • Ask for help when you need it. It sounds obvious, but sometimes a simple request is all that’s needed. Can you fetch me that book, please? Would you mind answering the phone? Give your children
    opportunities to show how helpful they can be;
    they’ll feel good about themselves and you’ll
    appreciate their support.