You know how it is. You’re their dad. You’re supposed to protect your kids – keep them safe and well and protected from any harm.
But as good a job as you’re doing, you can’t stop them from getting sick.
And when it’s a serious illness or an instance of medical negligence, you can feel even more helpless. This is only emphasized when your child has to spend some time in the hospital.
So what can you do when your child is sick and your ability to control the situation is taken away?
Establish the seriousness
Some illnesses are simple colds or viruses that will get better on their own. The only thing you have to do is comfort them and make sure they’re keeping their strength up. But other illnesses are a lot more serious.
You know your kid. You know when he or she isn’t themselves. But to know whether they’re suffering from anything more than a cold, you’ll have to observe them for a few days. You don’t have to take them straight to a doctor if they have a slight fever, but if they’re not eating and are acting withdrawn, they might need to get checked out.
Tag team it
Historically, your child’s mom would’ve been the one to take responsibility when a child is sick. It’s a different story today. As modern dads, you want to be more present for your kids – and this extends to taking care of them when they’re sick.
Don’t let their mom take the full force of the illness. You might think that going to work every day to keep the bills paid is the most important thing you can do, but this can be a bad idea.
Taking care of a sick child can be emotionally draining. You don’t want to leave your partner to take the whole burden herself. You also don’t want to have to keep your feelings bottled up while you put your daily work face on.
In the case of a more serious condition, you’ll probably find yourself in the doctor’s office more often than you’d like. This is when important info can be missed. So make sure you’re listening as closely as you can. Take notes if you think it’s necessary. This can help when you need to refer to them after the appointment.
Also, ensure you’re prepared for any doctor’s appointments. Make a list of questions you want to ask and take it with you. This way, you won’t forget anything you wanted to know.
Get support if you need it
If your child is chronically sick, you might need some support to get through it. This means you’ll need to rely on your network – both professional and social. Your friends will be there to listen to your worries and help to reassure you.
Meanwhile, don’t be shy about telling your boss and colleagues what’s going on. If you need to suddenly take some time off to take your child to a doctor’s appointment, it’ll help if your boss knows why.
One of the worst things you can go through as a parent is a child’s illness. Sometimes you just need to know that you’re doing all you can.
This content is brought to you by Carrie Tennick.