Well-meaning people sometimes say hurtful things to parents of sick or injured children. If you are a family member or friend of a parent with a hospitalized child, please do not say any of the following:
• “God only gives people what they can handle.” Some people cannot handle the stress related to their child’s illness or injury
• “I know just how you feel.” Unless you have a child in a similar situation, you simply don’t know.
• “You are so brave,” or “You are so strong.” Parents of very sick children are not heroes; they are ordinary people struggling with extraordinary stress.
Parents also make the following suggestions of things to avoid doing:
• Do not make personal comments in front of the child: “He’s lost so much weight,” or “She’s so pale.”
• Do not do things that require the parent to support you (for example, call up repeatedly, crying).
• Especially if treatments are lengthy, do not talk continually about the illness. Some normal conversations are welcome.
Most parents welcome stories of other children you know who had a similar condition and are doing fine.
Table of ContentsAll Guides
- 1. Before You Go
- 2. The Emergency Room
- 3. Preparing Your Child
- 4. The Facilities
- 5. The Staff
- 6. Communicating with Doctors
- 7. Common Procedures
- 8. Surgery
- 9. Pain Management
- 10. Family and Friends. What to Say
- 11. Family and Friends. How to Help
- 12. Feelings and Behavior
- 13. Siblings
- 14. Long-Term Illness or Injury
- 15. School
- 16. Medical and Financial Records
- 17. Insurance
- 18. Sources of Financial Help
- 19. Looking Back
- My Hospital Journal
- Packing List
- About the Author