Parenting a Child With Lupus
You likely have helped your child through tummy aches and scraped knees. But parenting a child with a chronic illness is different—and your child needs special support.
Watching my baby girl suffer and worrying that she might miss out on being a kid is devastating. She may be only 10, but she’s our family hero.
When your child’s been diagnosed with lupus, you may be feeling fear, uncertainty, and worry. Remember that your child’s doctor should be the first place you turn with any questions or concerns.
Open up about lupus
Your child may have already been living with lupus for a while. But as they get older, how you talk about lupus and the questions your child may have will change. Make sure what you say is appropriate for your child’s age and maturity level.
No matter their age, all children living with lupus should know it’s not their fault they have lupus. Nothing they did or didn’t do caused it.
Make sure your child also understands:
Get help from professionals
Coping with a chronic illness can be tough at any age. Children especially may not be able to find the words to express how they’re feeling. Helping them understand their emotions can be a big part of your job as a parent. You may want to ask your child’s doctors for advice.
Watch for any signs of anxiety or depression. It often looks different in children and teens than in adults. Look for irritability and/or anger, continuing sadness, or a loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. If you see any of these, tell your child’s doctor right away.
Take care of yourself, too
If the going gets really tough, consider reaching out to a professional, such as a counselor. After all, you must take care of yourself in order to help your child.