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 them.
- 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.