When Your Kids Don’t Understand Hepatitis C
Raising kids is hard these days. Whether you're a single parent, in a blended family, or in a relationship - it can be a struggle to get along. When adding an illness like the hepatitis C virus, misunderstandings are common. Words get thrown around, accusations can fly, and before long, battlelines are drawn. Life seems so unfair when you’re sick and there is tension with your kids.
Four important steps to take with your kids:
Listen with your heart
Try to get your mental arguments out of the way. You may have a long list of all the things they have not done to support you while getting ready for treatment. If the truth were told, you may go so far as to mentally rehearse that list of grievances. Then one little thing happens and BAM! You fly off the handle and it gets nasty.
Picture your child as a little kid
They may be acting like one right now. Get out an old school picture and keep it where you can see it. Remember how innocent they were? They didn’t understand adult issues at the time. I personally believe there is no way that our adult children can ever comprehend what we’re dealing with. So, treat them like a grade schooler. Just don’t tell them that. They honestly think they are behaving appropriately for the situation.
Be the parent
I know - when we’re sick, it’s not easy. We may have spent most of our adult life taking care of them. We get the idea that when we’re weak and sick, they should step up and return the favor. They may offer to help to degree that they can. We simply have to be mature, no matter how weak or fatigued we are.
It really doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. I don’t want to be “right” and not have my daughter in my life. She doesn’t want to be that adult woman who can’t talk to her mom. By looking at it from the big picture, we can begin to shift the relationship to one of forgiveness, healing, and trust.
Once, I needed my daughter to help me. I was having side effects. I worked myself into a tizzy and wanted her to come over ASAP. When she didn’t, I was so hurt. Then, I became puzzled as to why she didn’t jump. Soon, I felt sorry for myself and acted like a victim. I called her and was bossy and hateful. She wanted off the phone with me. I texted some whiney stuff. I’m not proud of how I acted. In the end, some apologies and explanations helped to open communication.
When your kids don’t understand hepatitis C, it is because they don’t have it. What they might have is their own story about how they wish you were not sick and could be there for them more. By listening with your heart, talking to your child as though they were your little one again, stepping up and being the parent, and beginning a cycle of forgiveness, everything can begin to heal.
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