Let’s face it right now, folks. When you have a sick child, the world just seems to stop. They’re miserable, cranky, feverish, throwing up and their body just plain hurts like an arthritic person. We feel bad, offering them more attention than they’re used to in any one day along with medicines they’ll fight to take or take too openly. But while you keep their inner body going strong to fight whatever they have, these children start to get the itches. You know what I mean, they want to play, run and laugh in spite of their bodies screaming, “No!” This leads to quite a bit of restlessness and what is a parent to do? Well I’ve gotten my personal list of ‘things to do’ when my little one is sick and hopefully one or two of them may work for you.
My daughter tends to get somewhat silly talking when she’s not feeling her best. I think firstly that she is trying her own tactics to keep happy when she’s just not feeling one hundred percent. Who can honestly blame her, right? We adults do what we can to cheer ourselves up when we can’t sleep so it’s only natural little ones do, too. At 4 my daughter discovered the novelty that is the ‘knock-knock’ joke. However, she only knew one version of it so after the first half hour she was getting aggravated at it not being too funny anymore. So I went online and hunted down new jokes for her, sitting with her in my lap and sharing these jokes with her. After she got the punchline (and kids do – they’re really bright as we all know) she had to try it out on me and even her kitten. Not only did this amuse her but it was incredibly amusing for me to watch her face light up and start laughing each time a joke was finished. I didn’t realize it until well after she’d gotten to sleep finally, but, the laughter had made me forget how worried I was for her being ill, too. So in a way making her happy made me happy. That is never a bad thing. It removes extra stresses from the parent angle. Something any parent can appreciate.
Perhaps the child has a favorite movie he or she hasn’t seen in a while. Being stuck on a sofa all day can’t be much fun, but you as a parent can make it that way by simply popping in a movie guaranteed to make the child laugh. Sure us parents can get sick of watching Shrek 2 over and over, but if the kid can focus on something else for a while instead of being sick, all the better. Watching the movie might even relax them enough to pass out for an hour or two – something as we all know people need when feeling under the weather. Unless laughing hurts the child (such as chest colds tend to do) this one will make them feel better. Who knows, you may even find yourself cuddling your child on the couch and both of you drifting off into dreamland for a while.
Board games can be a lifesaver if the child is confined to either laying on a sofa or sitting up for an indefinite period of time. Most games don’t require too much action, such as Life or even Scrabble but they allow the child to have fun and not feel a total waste. These give the child a chance to think and have some movement along with interaction with parents or even a sibling that may be home too due to being ill. This also allows the parent to have a little fun too. We all know sick kids can be total downers. But if you don’t have any board games around, you can also try small craft ideas – maybe teach the child (if the age permits) to crochet a scarf for themself. They’ll feel good doing something and feel incredibly proud when they get to wear their own creation out sometime. However, not everyone has a parent blessed with artistic genius, so as a last resort for arts and fun you can always color books with crayons and markers. These also don’t require too much effort, unlike teaching crocheting.
Having a sick child isn’t fun. But you can make their ‘miserable’ time more easily dealt with if you provide ways for them to be distracted from feeling icky for a little while. They say relaxation helps one to heal so even if you don’t believe that, at least you can guarantee your child tried to keep his or her spirits up in a really difficult time for them. Remember, though, no matter what you do make sure you have plenty of tissues on hand just in case a sneezing fit breaks out. You don’t want germs on any game pieces.