It is always hard knowing what to say to parents of a sick child!
Knowing what to say and how to say it is an integral part of navigating through life.
When it comes to something as serious as illness, there’s a fine line to walk.
How do you share your feelings without coming across as out of touch or insensitive? Here’s what to say to parents of a sick child.
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What to say to parents of a sick child
When talking to parents of a sick child, saying sorry just never seems to be enough.
Sometimes you may feel like you are not helping matters no matter what you say.
Many people tend to stay away from the parents of a sick child so as not to say or do the wrong thing accidentally.
However, words of comfort can be pretty touching and helpful at such a time. So if you’re ever in such a situation, here’s what you can do:
1. Ask how the parents are doing
Taking care of a sick child is never easy. Between the doctor’s appointments, buying medicine, and just trying to manage it at home, the parents are likely to be exhausted.
While they may not say it outright, just knowing someone is concerned about them is likely to make them feel better.
2. Ask how the sick child is doing
It is also good to show that you care about the child by asking for updates about their health.
Even when they seem fine, it is always good to enquire.
If possible, you can speak with the child and just assure them that you’re in their corner and are available for whatever they need.
3. Ask about the illness
It may seem counterproductive, but it is actually a good thing.
Learning all you can about the illness from the parents allows them to share their triumphs and fears with you.
They can do so at their own pace, and it builds a trust bond with you.
You can also find out more about the illness yourself to be a relatable point between you and the parents.
It also shows them that you care enough to want to share that burden with them for however long it takes.
It also helps you to determine the best ways that you can help parents of a sick child.
4. Offer to help
At the end of the day, parents of a sick child need a lot of support to get through the day.
This is different for every family and you should leave it to them to tell you what they need.
If they are embarrassed about needing help, just listen closely to whatever they tell and figure out the gaps you can fill.
It could be something as simple as bringing them cooked meals or doing their grocery shopping.
You can also offer to babysit other children or pets they may have so that they can get more time to devote to their sick child.
5. Be a listening ear
Sometimes you don’t even need to say anything in these situations.
Just offer a safe space where the parents can vent to you about anything they’re going through.
Let them work it out by themselves, and do not offer any feedback unless asked.
6. Praise them
With all the difficulties of caring for a sick child, sometimes parents just want to hear that they’re doing a good job.
Tell them in person when you see them, or send them a quick text that they are amazing parents.
Just continuously remind them of this whenever you can get in different ways.
When bad things happen, it leaves many people speechless.
Something like an illness in the family can leave you wondering whether there’s a right or wrong way to show you care.
Knowing what to say to parents of a sick child will help you navigate these murky waters while still getting your intended message across.
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Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.