Tag Archives: change

10 Tips for Speaking to Your Children about Your Chronic Illness

create-memoriesWhen you are a parent you protect your children at all costs. You want to protect them from anything that may cause them to hurt physically, emotionally and mentally.  You want to ensure they have a happy, healthy childhood and good memories.  So, it is truly important to be mindful of this and create special moments for your children to have fond memories of reflections later on in their lives.

do-one-thing-every-dayA parent with a chronic illness needs to work extra hard in maintaining their role and relationship in the family.  Not only are you dealing with your chronic condition, you also must lead by example for the good of the family.  If you have children a crucial and extremely important thing to do is finding a way to speak to your children about your condition.  Speaking to your children about your chronic condition may not be the easiest topic to address and it might seem easier to pretend that all is well, however, all is not well so don’t be fooled and avoid addressing the elephant in the room.

resilienceBe aware there will be adverse results for the family if you do not muster up that courage and speak with your children.  Children are resilient and will be empathetic when kept engaged.  They will be supportive and more willing to pitch in and help out knowing you have a chronic condition that’s affecting the family.  Never under estimate the intelligence of teenagers and young adults.  They pay attention even when it appears that they are not.

  1. Speak with your children sooner rather than later

talk-to-your-kidsWhen dealing with children, the unknown can be a very scary thing. Keeping your child in the dark about your health and needs will only add anxiety and behavioural problems down the line. Talk to your children as soon as they start to question why you can’t do something.  It is important that you do not leave them to their own imaginations as they are incredibly creative.

 

  1. parents-talking-with-kidsKeep the talk simple

When conversing with a teenager, you want to keep it plain and simple.  Break down the medical terminology so they understand the issue.  They will have questions.  Be prepared to answer all their questions to the best of your ability.   If the children are younger use smaller words, words they understand and be patient.  Children though young are curious.  They notice changes within the family; they and need to feel safe and secure.

3. engaging-conversation-1 Repeated discussions there will be many

You need to have repeated discussions with the children.  It is important that you understand this maybe the first time you talk to them, but it certainly should not be your last time. You must be open to reopening the discussion of what is happening to you.  They need to know that you are open to them and are kept informed on your condition.  Be prepared as you converse and keep calm when this happens.

  1. engaging-conversation-2Prepare to answer lots of questions

Children are inquisitive, they are curious they like to know what’s going on. Be prepared for a bunch of questions.  Take the time and answer whatever questions they have.  Don’t get frustrated if it feels like you are answering the same question over and over.  They are simply trying to understand how this chronic disease may impact the family and are afraid of what might happen in the face of this new reality.

  1. reassuranceReassurance   

It is extremely important that you reassure your children you will still be there for them, no matter what.  You will continue to do all you can for them and that you need them to keep being you children; you love them and need their love as well.  Let them know that your condition is not their fault.  They need to hear that they are in no way responsible for your disease so to put their minds at ease.

  1. attitude-of-gratitude-1Attitude

When speaking to your children about your illness you want to stay strong for them. You want to keep things light and calm.  Be welcoming and do not visibly show any hurt that may come from questions asked or comments the children make.  Keep in mind that they are trying to understand something huge; something that changes your life and impacts the family.

  1. Don’t stress the children don’t over share

Children should not have to deal with adult issues so be sensitive.  They don’t need in- depth details or hear the devastation that comes from the illness.  Tell them only what they need to know at this point, so do not over share.  Children need to be children.  Give them basic information keeping it simple.

  1. attitude-of-gratitudeMaintain a sense of purpose and appreciation for everything

Be grateful for all the obstacles in your life.  Obstacles can be seen as setbacks and frown upon however, obstacles present themselves for reasons unknown.  Ultimately, as you deal with these obstacles you find strength that enables you to work through your journey.  Always remember where there’s a will there’s a way and through it all that strength adds value to your life.

gibe-thanksReflect on everything in your life for which you are grateful and develop an attitude of gratitude.  Give thanks for whatever happens to you believing that every step you take forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than you presently have.

 

change-behaviourYou have the power to change circumstances in your life for better.  It all depends on how you manage your situation.  Let go of the past.  Release the past and free yourself.  Clear your mind – focus on today, move forward.

  1. action-changes-thingsTake positive action

Action changes things.  Do whatever you can to keep your relationships with family and friends strong.  Nothing in life is more important than family support.

A chronic disease does not dictate or define who you are.  Attributes like self image, self esteem, your attitude toward yourself and the world around you in exhibiting responsible behaviour toward others will help to numb your pain and encourage greater accomplishments.

10.  positive-behaviourPositive Thinking

Change negative thoughts and self-criticism to more realistic and positive thoughts. Practice working on yourself from the inside out and build your self esteem; focus on changing your way of thinking before attempting to change circumstances around you.  Adopt a more positive self concept.  Love yourself, change your thoughts to be positive!  Start dreaming and achieving.

be-strongThoughts are powerful and it is only your thoughts that can prevent you from achieving your dreams however, a thought can be changed!

The following ideas and techniques is a process that will change your life

  • Experience a deeper understanding of yourself as to how you got to where you are now and what do you really want?
  • Release anger, resentment, fear, jealousy, doubt, anxiety and depression
  • Feel more empowered. As little successes and good decisions start coming more often, before you know it success is building on success and your self-esteem will soar
  • Take control of your life. Start to think and react consciously, make healthy self-nurturing choices
  • law-of-attractionLearn to love and accept yourself and you will find that you are attracting positive people into your life

With such a powerful set of new beliefs, how could you not succeed at anything you set your mind to?

Can’t Communicate What To Do?

balance-the-body-and-the-soulThe very first thing to do is to take an honest look at yourself and make sure that you are open to learning. If you find that you are angry, you are blaming, you’re defensive, stressed or closed, or that you have an agenda, you will need to calm down and shift your intent from controlling to learning, or you may decide that this is not a good time for you to talk.  Say something like, “I’m feeling too frustrated right now to talk about this. How about we try again in half an hour?” Now disengage, focus on doing some inner work to get open and caring and to go back and try again.

become-a-better-personAs you check in and are open, the next thing to do might seem simple, however, it can be incredibly challenging for most of us. You need to fully accept (100%) that if you are stuck in communicating, the other person is not open and that there is nothing you can do about it.  We have no control over whether another person chooses to be open, closed, caring, uncaring, controlling or accepting.

Having accepted (100%) your lack of control over the other person’s intention, and 100% accepted that you cannot resolve anything when one person is closed, you’ve done all that you can control to encourage communication and, can now take loving action on your own behalf.

fix-problemsYou now take a healthy action and say something like, “We seem to be stuck in our communication right now. Let’s try it again in half an hour.”  Take note that you are not accusing the other person of being closed, which would be a form of control. You are merely stating that you are stuck.

The challenge now is to keep an open heart so that when the other person is open, you too are also open. This means that you walk away with love rather than anger.

However, if the other person never opens up, you need to accept that there is no way of resolving anything with that person. There’s an old proverb which states:  you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.  The definition of this old proverb is: you can give someone an opportunity but you can’t force that person to take that opportunity.

self-care

 

 

You’ve made a noble effort to resolve a communication issue that is still unresolved.  You now need to be open to learning how to take care of yourself in the face of that truth.

 

 

Are you get stuck with someone and can’t communicate?  What do you usually do?

Do you:

  • angry-person-yellingShout angrily to intimidate the other person into hearing you and/or agreeing with you?
  • Walk away or hang up the phone?
  • Talk louder and faster trying harder to get your point across?
  • Cry in frustration?
  • Give in and just listen quietly to the other person?
  • Withdraw your love in the hope of punishing the other person into hearing you?
  • Reach for a drink or food to avoid your feelings?

What happens with you emotionally with your relationship when you do any of these things?

uncomfortable-conversationWhat happens is that you and the other person become distant for a while until things calm down, but it may be some time before you and that other person (e.g. a friend, child, parent, co-worker, partner) feel comfortable talking with each other or being around each other again.

Is there a better way to approach the situation when you can’t communicate?

definition-of-communication-smallYou bet there is!  First, it is important to understand why you can’t communicate.  You dig deep; investigate and find the root cause, then work to fix it.

When two or more people are open to learning about themselves and each other good communication and conflict resolution flow naturally.  This means that it is more important to you to learn from the situation than it is to be right.

an-open-mind

 

It is impossible to communicate effectively when one person is not open to learning. What eventually happens is that the person that keeps on trying and trying becomes more and more frustrated since there is no way the person that is not open to learning will ever hear or understand why he/she is closed to learning.

How to Keep Your Spirits Up as a Caregiver

focus-on-the-things-you-can-changeHow exciting does a brisk, long walk along a nature trail sound?  It is a bright and beautiful day, temperature in the mid twenties with a lovely breeze, truly comfortable for walking.  A perfect time to drop whatever you’re doing change into some comfortable clothes and footwear and head for that nature trail.

Maybe you’re having a hard, challenging morning and taking a time out into the fresh air is definitely going to do lots of good for you.  Does your head feel heavy, your shoulders are burning and you feel the need to vanish into thin air?

healthymindplatter_webThere’s probably no better time to focus on your own well being and head out on the trail. When you take part in activities that you enjoy it enhances your day and your life.  It makes it somewhat easier for you to continue in your role of care giving.

Taking time to focus on yourself makes you feel better overall.  Walking is one of the easiest and most cost effective form of physical exercise that does a world of good to help keep you in good health.

woman-walking-exerciseWhen you incorporate walking into your daily routine it becomes a part of your day.  Your mental, physical and emotional health will be enhanced and your mood will improve keeping you in better spirits.

Learning how to manage your situation and dealing with it in a more effective way will result in positive benefits for both you and your loved ones.

bring-peace-to-your-soulA caregiver’s life is enormously difficult however, when you accept the things you cannot change you’re ahead of the game.  You are better able to think clearly and formulate a plan to manage your given situation.  Accept the things you cannot change

The best thing you can do for yourself is to take care of yourself and there’s no better way to do that than through physical exercise, a good healthy diet and enough sleep and rest.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Be Happy

the dali limaHave you ever had people in your life that literally thrived on playing the blame game? You know those people that are constantly belly aching that whatever goes wrong it’s your fault?  Over time you actually believe them.  You quickly get sucked into the game of fixing all of their problems believing it’s your fault while they become stronger and better at blaming you and everyone else.

DF-quote Victim ConsciousnessIn essence you become their rescuer.  You do not realize what’s happening at the time because that is a life lesson to be learned.  As long as you continue to play their game you are empowering those people in victim consciousness and the game will continue for as long as you play.  In reality this game is hurting everyone involved.

Things only change when you take responsibility for whatever is happening in your own life and allow other people to do the same.  Blamers are people who do not take responsibility for their life.  It is easier to blame others.  Although it may seem easier to blame others the blamers are doing a disservice, dis-empowering themselves by not taking responsibility for their life.   On the other hand, the rescuer is enabling the blamer to dis-empower himself/herself and this is the worst service possible.

mattcody-Powerless[3]-1By constantly rescuing others you are not allowing them to take responsibility for their own life.  You are dis-empowering them.  You are taking their power away by fixing all their problems.  Most importantly, you are dis-empowering yourself by carrying their monkey on your back.

When people are blaming other people for the problems in their life, they become powerless to change.  Their thoughts hold them in victim consciousness.

“Victim mentality is an acquired (learned) personality trait in which a person tends to regard him or herself as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave like it were the case—even in the absence of clear evidence. It depends on habitual thought processes and attribution”.

Victim mentality – Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victim_mentality

stop blaming others2In today’s society people are far too willing to give away their personal power and responsibility for their lives. They are not willing to put in the work necessary to actually make a lasting difference in their lives.

Your thought process can change once you’ve made a decision to change your life.  It takes work and persistence, however as long as there is a will there is a way.

Change your life in 5 steps:

1             Take responsibility for everything that is in your life, no matter how good or bad. You created and accepted it into your life, and as such, you can change it.

action changes things2             Decide what you do want in your life, what you are going to accept and what you are not going to accept. If you don’t know what you want, identify what you don’t want, and the opposite of that is what you want. Decide on who and what you want to be. Create an action plan for change. Create a plan for how you are going to make these changes.

3             And the most important step of all, DO IT. That’s right, do it and make the changes. This is the step that separates the achievers and successful people from the dreamers living a life of mediocrity.

4             If you have been attending all these seminars, reading these books and you still haven’t managed to change your life, then look inside yourself and ask this question.

5             “Am I taking responsibility for changing my life?”

responsibility (1)If the answer is no, then take responsibility and start changing your life today. Whether you work with someone else, or you work with me, take responsibility and use the knowledge of the “guru’s” and the courses and the books and implement them into your life and create the life of your dreams; the life you deserve.

You can wait for an eternity for someone else to make the changes for you, and it will never happen. You just have to DO it yourself. Stop putting things off now, because the more you put things off the more painful and difficult it will get.

Dealing with life’s challenges takes skill and planning.  In the case of the caregiver, incorporating adequate balance in the care plan protects from taking on too much responsibility that impedes on self care.

powerless-no-longer

 

The sooner the light bulb goes on the sooner you’ll find the peace that has somehow escaped you.  It is never too late to take back your power, lighten your load of responsibility, find your peace and be happy.

Sex & Intimacy – National MS Society

 

The National MS Society provides an abundance of invaluable information that can benefit both the MS suffer and the spouse/partner.   One of the greatest areas of concern in MS families is definitely a lack of communication and I trust this educational webcast will provide an learn and changeopportunity to learn and change.

MS Learn Online is the National MS Society’s online educational webcast series. This video features a discussion with Rosalind Kalb, PhD, who talks about intimacy and multiple sclerosis.

National Society MS Awareness wekIt is my hope that through the efforts of MS Learn Online educational webcast series open communication will be encouraged as difficult as it may  be.

It is never too late to learn and change for the better.

 It is always better late than never.