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By staff
Special to the Village News 

A positive attitude improves children's health

 

Last updated 1/2/2018 at 11:27am



Hello, cold and flu season. With damp, chilly winter weather, and school contact with all those other little germ factories, it's not that surprising if a child suddenly is coughing, sneezing or worse.

While most people are well aware of the medical steps to help children get better, parents sometimes forget there are emotional things they can do to help their child, too. This awareness is important because children often feel bad about feeling bad. How many parents have heard their children apologize for being ill, saying, “Mom, I'm sorry I’m sick?”

What can be done? Start with a smile.

If you’re looking worried and concerned when approaching an ill child, they are going to begin worrying about why their parent looks so worried.

Instead of asking, “How are your feeling?” when it’s already clear that the child is not feeling well, try to offer something positive. Tell the child that they look a little better or that they have gotten some of their color back or that they seem a little cooler. Assure them that it’s the parent’s job to get them well.

One of the best medicines for a sick child, regardless of age, is being generous with hugs and cuddles. While it can be tempting to plop the child in front of the TV and just check in occasionally, offering physical contact that encourages positive feelings of safety brings better results.

Instead of TV time, trying sitting a young child on your lap while reading a story or maybe spending some time together coloring. If there is to be some TV time, spend at least part of it with them, holding hands while watching together.

Next, there’s no question that the mind has the power to affect health. Talk with the child about imagining feeling better and they might find it can actually help them feel that way.

Listen to the child. Encourage them to talk about how they feel. If it’s something as simple as a tummy ache, perhaps the cause is the stress of the day and not an illness.

No one ever wants a child to feel crummy. When illness does strike, try combining being a health care giver with being a loving, supportive parent who encourages a positive attitude. It really can help children feel healthier faster.

Counseling Corner is provided by the American Counseling Association. Send comments and questions to ACAcorner@counseling.org or visit the ACA website at http://www.counseling.org.

 

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