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You’re Not Powerless! What We Can Do To Cope With The Stress Of An Unwell Child?

It’s one of those circumstances that every parent goes through. When our children get ill, in some ways, we can feel worse than they do! After all, if we’ve got a young baby or toddler, we feel powerless to help them, and even consulting Doctor Google can’t help us, we naturally start to feel incredibly stressed. We feel that all we want to do is just look after our babies, but when there is something wrong, it’s important to not overreact, but also remember that feeling stressed isn’t going to benefit the situation. What can we do when we are in the moment that our child is really unwell?

What Can You Do To Help Them Right Now?

Providing comfort is the best thing we can do. The fact is that there is plenty of paracetamol for children that can keep their temperature down while you are on the phone to the doctor. Naturally, the first port of call is to phone the doctor, but when you are undecided as to whether it’s really is an emergency, you can always rely on paracetamol in the short-term. Depending on what the issue is, it’s likely that the doctor will recommend that you give the paracetamol anyway. That way you are doing everything you can. Focusing on what you can do for them right now means that you can make them as comfortable as humanly possible, and this is good enough right now.

Learning Not To Overreact

It’s so easy for us to jump to the worst-case scenario. But when we are in the moment, and we know we’ve done everything we can to make them comfortable right now and we are on the phone to the doctor, we’ve got to do our best to remain level-headed. In a stressful situation, that adrenaline or fight or flight response can take over, and if you really feel you’re unable to cope, ask for help! If there’s someone around, like a neighbour, don’t be afraid to ask! It’s important not to overreact, but we’re all human, so we can very well think about the worst-case scenario. Doing our best to not overreact in the moment can be as simple as doing a couple of deep breaths. They don’t take long, and they can help us right there in the moment.

Coping With The Aftermath

Whatever happens, whether your child needs to go to hospital, or everything will be okay, you can very well feel that horrible tension headache afterwards, and need to decompress. You may have wound yourself up like a spring and it’s important to note that after the situation has evened out you may very well feel under the weather yourself, or still feel stressed. Learning how to relax quickly can help. There are things like progressive muscle relaxation exercises that can help you, as well as learning to rationalise those anxieties. As a parent, we can feel that horrible sensation that something terrible will happen to our child, but we have to learn how to be present in the moment but we also need to trust in the fact that we are doing everything for our children. 

*Collaborative post