It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Multiple Sclerosis Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-25-2011, 10:13 AM   #1
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Mi, USA
Posts: 18
amrascalrats HB User
Guidance Needed - how to explain MS to a child

Question:

How do you tell your 11yr old child, that his dad has MS??

We have a total of three children (ages: 19, 15, 11) and the older two have been told privately about their fathers recent RRMS diagnosis. But, we are still new to the fact and both my husband and I have not been able to come up with an appropriate way to tell our youngest son. We want to share with him about this, on a level his little mind will understand, without scaring him. Or is this something we should keep from him at this time? Sorry but I just have no clue on how to handle this situation.

Any help or advice in this area is appreciated.

 
Old 10-25-2011, 10:47 AM   #2
Facilitator
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Kansas, USA
Posts: 8,453
MSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB UserMSJayhawk HB User
Re: Guidance Needed - how to explain MS to a child

My oldest was 11 and my youngest was 3 when I became disabled. I explained it to them that my body "short circuits" on occasion. As they grew older I gave them more info on the process of the myelin sheath being attacked.

There is a booklet available which is written on the very topic you noted. I know the MS Association has it available but the neurologist's office may also have it.

I think that as long as the child knows that you are still going to be there for them, they are quite resilient. I cannot do many things a father would normally do, but I can remain in a supporting role. Being an emotional anchor is as important as being a full participant in an activity.

My boys are now 21 and 12 and they have adapted to my illness quite well. My youngest was pulled into the field of biology as a result and studies at the university. My oldest has been doing tasks around the house for me since 2002 and is at the same university with my youngest. MS does not limit us.
__________________
MS diagnosed since October 3, 1982
MS onset circa 1977
Proud to be MED FREE!
Eternally blessed and eternally optimistic!<><

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 10-26-2011, 04:52 AM   #3
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Mi, USA
Posts: 18
amrascalrats HB User
Re: Guidance Needed - how to explain MS to a child

Thank You...

I will try and look up the MS Assoc. for the booklet.
Thanks for the help and insight :-)

 
Old 10-26-2011, 05:25 AM   #4
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Naples,fl
Posts: 111
sodapopper HB Usersodapopper HB Usersodapopper HB User
Re: Guidance Needed - how to explain MS to a child

Hi- My kids were 6 and 4 when I was diagnosed 4 years ago. They could see that something was up with daddy because I had a right sided foot drop for a week or so. They would ask why I was walking like that and would ask if it hurt. They would and still occasionally do, imitate how I walked when I was having my exacerbation I told them that I have something called Multiple sclerosis, that can cause a person to have trouble with eye's, legs, arms, etc. I told them that I was fine and that I was taking medicine to help prevent that from happening. They see me get my daily shot, taking vitamins, and working out. They know that this stuff is all important for me. They also know that we try to avoid illness/bugs when they are going around because this could have an affect on my MS. I think because they saw me dragging my foot, followed by a quick recovery, that this made it a little less scary to them. I haven't had a relapse since the foot drop almost 4 years ago, but am hoping when I do have another one, we will all stay calm and take it as it comes. I have told them no matter what, I will always be here for them and love them and that this is not something that I will die from. 5 years ago my sister died of breast cancer at the age of 40 , so they understand illness and death. We have been very clear and careful to explain to them that this is NOTHING like what their anunt had and that they don't ever need to worry about that. We've also told them that we will always be honest with them. It's sort of funny because for the past couple of years, when my kids are in the room when I'm getting or giving myself my shot, they will ask if they can do it. Sometime I or my wife let them help with the alcohol wipe, and a couple of times,even with pushing the plunger on the syringe. My wife is a nurse- so maybe this makes it easier with these issues. Kind of -no big deal. Also- they have seen their cousin who has had Juvenille Rheumatoid Arthritis, get shots on occasion. Something interesting to add- I think my nephew (this is my wifes brothers boy) finds comfort in seeing his uncle get poked and will talk about the best and worst places to get shots. So- this kind of stuff is not new or unusual for my kids to see. With all of us, life goes on and we get back to the action. Good luck- your child will probably digest it better than you think- especially if you don't make it seem like it's the end of the world. Be simple in your explanation. I almost think this makes for more compassionate kids.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to sodapopper For This Useful Post:
amrascalrats (10-27-2011)
Old 10-27-2011, 04:54 AM   #5
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Mi, USA
Posts: 18
amrascalrats HB User
Re: Guidance Needed - how to explain MS to a child

@ sodapopper: Thank You so much for sharing... your insight is greatly appreciated!!! We've decided to wait to tell our youngest, until we've had a couple of more appt's with the doctors and we ourselves understand a bit more about my husbands case.

I've already been informed by my hubby that I will be administering his shots in the beginning. (Please God, give me strength.) I cannot even give our puppy shots without my hands shaking, my husband has always done it for me, though I prepare the vials. We raise mini rat terriers, but thats an aside. Point is, I need to learn to do the shots and I realize it's not that big of a deal... just a learning process.

 
Old 10-27-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Levittown, PA, USA
Posts: 30
LOMS HB User
Re: Guidance Needed - how to explain MS to a child

Quote:
Originally Posted by amrascalrats View Post
Question:

How do you tell your 11yr old child, that his dad has MS??

We have a total of three children (ages: 19, 15, 11) and the older two have been told privately about their fathers recent RRMS diagnosis. But, we are still new to the fact and both my husband and I have not been able to come up with an appropriate way to tell our youngest son. We want to share with him about this, on a level his little mind will understand, without scaring him. Or is this something we should keep from him at this time? Sorry but I just have no clue on how to handle this situation.

Any help or advice in this area is appreciated.
I don't see any replies, so I'll try my two cents..
First, I believe your 11 year old already has an idea that something serious is going on.. the private conversations, the changes in behavior, people stop talking when he enters the room. I'll try a few suggestions: One, since the two older ones were told more, ask them what they think you should tell the younger. I would start with the basics (maybe with everyone around) then answer questions. The basics might be: Dad has a sickness called Multiple Sclerosis. It can make him tired and sometimes sick, and even in a bad mood. He can still go to work and do things with us, maybe not as much as before. Then, encourage them to ask questions. He might not want to at first, because he will be absorbing, but try to let him know that you want him to ask questions and/or discuss it. Good luck!

 
Old 10-28-2011, 05:02 AM   #7
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Mi, USA
Posts: 18
amrascalrats HB User
Re: Guidance Needed - how to explain MS to a child

Yes, I believe you are right... there's been some talk around the house and I've now noticed he's stopped and listened for a second or two, then leaves the room with a puzzled look on his face. He knows somethings going on.

Thank You for your basics tips, it was exactly what I was looking for!!!

{hugs}

 
Old 10-28-2011, 06:48 AM   #8
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Levittown, PA, USA
Posts: 30
LOMS HB User
Re: Guidance Needed - how to explain MS to a child

You are welcomed!
I also realized that there are more replies to your post,
though I cannot find them... I'll look again.. Meanwhile,
again, good luck. I also wonder if he is better on the
computer than I am.. ;o)

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
needed to say it w0rldflame Multiple Sclerosis 6 06-23-2008 04:06 PM
Can anyone explain? Aubrey2007 Multiple Sclerosis 4 05-09-2008 05:52 AM
Others Dont Understand & I Don't Want To Explain cindys601 Multiple Sclerosis 19 10-28-2007 04:09 AM
How Do I Explain This? kdel Multiple Sclerosis 4 05-25-2007 05:57 AM
Who to tell? - advice needed please sooty Multiple Sclerosis 2 06-04-2006 09:27 AM

Tags
child, guidance, multiple sclerosis, question



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



MSJayhawk (998), MSNik (526), Snoopy61 (58), J-one (13), Whimpurr (13), shahila (12), JodiH (11), MS22 (11), KingBaxter (10), LasVegasgirl (8)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1004), Apollo123 (905), Titchou (848), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (759), ladybud (754), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:09 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!