12 Tips for Keeping Ill or Medically Fragile Children Contented
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Q: A Homeschooling Parent of a Child with Special Needs writes:
So, I need advice on something we are facing with my special needs and medically
fragile son. It’s not just about his homeschooling but it’s affecting everything. His
medical condition is degenerative in nature and he has recently been going through some
big downhill turns. We pray they won’t be permanent but he is aware enough of everything
that he is rightfully upset that we’re having to majorly reduce how much he’s doing. Although
at the same time he acknowledges and agrees he can’t do more right now. We’ve had to cancel
almost all the extracurricular activities he loves for now because there is no way he can do them.
I’m also having to reduce his daily schoolwork. Has anyone else been through these types of times?
Does anyone have any ideas of how to keep his spirits up?
A: from Cheryl
Yes, we still experience this in our home! Whether for mental or physical ailments, cancellations happen, sometimes for extended periods. Avoiding “cabin fever” or worse, depressive moods, takes effort.
Some tips that help us:
1) Avoid allowing the child to spend too much time alone. Too much time alone can be depressing in itself!
2) Play quick easy games (Go Fish, Checkers) to spice up an afternoon or evening.
3) Open blinds & windows if possible to allow as much natural light as you can.
4) Splurge on a burst of beautiful flowers to cheer the kitchen table or bedroom.
5) Ask Grandpa to give the little one a phone call, or allow the child to call Grandma or an aunt or anyone cheerful who might be willing to chat a few moments.
6) Make the most of a clean pet. My son had a single tetra in a fishbowl, and Fish was my son’s friend when few others could be.
7) Allow more snuggly time than usual, such as family movies with favorite thick blankets, pillows, or stuffed animals cleaned as needed for the medical condition.
8) Share classical music. When we all must stay in by necessity, we play bursts of Mozart, Vivaldi, or Dvorak to make things feel brisk and lively in our home.
9) Enlist help through social media or prayer chains. If friends or relatives can send cards, it might help to brighten the day when the mail comes.
10) Keep your own spirits up! It is surprising how much we miss getting out when our children cannot. Call a friend. Listen to an uplifting podcast. Connect with neighbors.
11) Churchgoing families who must stay in over Sundays feel the loss, so we find listening to church services or hymns helpful when we cannot attend. This allows us to share important edification and comfort even when we must stay behind.
12) Be grateful. Show your child that no matter our circumstances, we can find something for which to give thanks day or night.
Resources to help:
Children’s poetry set to music
More soothing children’s poetry set to beautifully acoustic music
Companion read-aloud of short, cheerful poems for children