Parenting #Tip Tuesday

Making #Sick Days into #Nurturing Days


What do you do when your little one spikes a fever in the middle of the night? Chances are she won’t get sick when you have the next day off. So you’re torn. “I have a meeting/appointment/deadline.” And, if you’re married, your spouse has a meeting/appointment/deadline, too. So here you are with your sick little guy and feeling like you need to split yourself in two. Again.

You may be an excellent actor but if you are struggling with what to do for sick kid child care, and your sick kid is awake and with you, he is listening or simply can sense, that he is causing a problem. I say this because; even the most secure child can begin to feel guilty and shameful about inconveniencing mom or dad. I know. Being the imperfect parent I am, I can recall my daughter saying to me, “I’m very sorry I’m sick, mom.” This, after hearing me make several phone calls to clear my day. From my own experience, I encourage you to sound positive (kind of opposite of desperate) and talk to her or aloud to yourself about how she is always your top priority and anything and everything else that will free her from feeling responsible for upsetting your work day. 

Kids get sick. If it hasn’t happened to your family yet, it will. As in many cases, the best defense is a good offense. I urge you to plan for it, have a back-up plan and maybe even a contingency for your back-up plan.  Find out your company’s policy on sick or personal days and/or work out an arrangement with your spouse or child’s other parent (if that works for your family dynamics). Is there a willing grandparent or friend that you can work out an arrangement with? I have seen and heard about walk-in centers for sick children. That’s all I’ll say about that except walk-in centers for sick children are not in alignment with my next paragraph.

Whatever the arrangements end up to be, I encourage you to make it a nurturing day. If it is you at home, use it to further bond and love on your little one. Fluff the pillows, read the books, snuggle your sleeping child. If the solution is going to grandma’s or someone else’s house, he will have a better day with his favorite blanket and a few quiet toys. Maybe even send some special snacks or drinks that he likes. The important message she receives is that she is important, valued, and will always be taken care of.

Now I pose another perspective. It is a fine line between offering a loving, caring sick day and encouraging a repeat. We don’t want him to get so comfortable that getting back to school or day care seems like too much effort. In my (imperfect) home, sick days meant no playing with friends after school, no endless TV. Sick kid days are unavoidable. Do what feels right for your family and remember to make the most of every day.  smiley