Eight things never to say to a poorly child.
Both my 4 and 1 year old have been ill this week. Poor me. I mean, them. Obviously.
It’s that confused British Summer where the whole ‘it’s hot! / it’s cold! / no actually it’s warm but have some torrential rain!’ thing has given germs a real holiday breeding treat. Tummy bugs, coughs and colds, it has not been pleasant.
Aside from the dreadful sleeping, knowing how to handle my eldest and negotiating his mood swings when he’s ill is nigh-on impossible. He’s 4, not 14 by the way. But one minute he’s running about shrieking and playing and the next he’s whingeing and saying he’s poorly again (normally when I’ve said no to something, come to think of it…)
Here’s eight things never to say to ill children from my own bitter experience this week.
- In a moment of weakness and sympathy never say “we can read as much as you like sweetheart” at bedtime. 9.15pm, cold dinner downstairs and regretting it…
- “Well if you’re ill and can’t eat your dinner, you can’t have pudding can you?” Just give them the pudding. Not worth the pain today.
- “Let’s just stay in and have a telly day under the duvet.” NEVER works. Even with ill children. Just walk round the block, or take a gentle trip out to the high street or risk stir crazy, cooped up AND ill.
- “Are you still feeling poorly?” Answer is always *cough cough yes* in case of sudden retraction of niceness, treats and sympathy. Just assume better when better, never remind!
- “You’ve watched enough TV for the day, come on let’s switch it off.” Don’t give yourself and them a hard time. What is the harm, really. Apart from to your sanity. (Advise headphones)
- “Don’t be ridiculous, other children are far more poorly than you and don’t even complain!“. Tempting. Very tempting. Especially when all they have is an annoying sniffle and they’re properly milking it… but in my experience it just exacerbates the problem and I guess it’s all relative. Children live in the right here, right now and not being able to breathe out of your nose is yukky. Albeit not life threatening.
- “We can do whatever you like tomorrow, OK?“. Feeling sympathetic, you get a bit too generous with your offering. It’s never gonna be Legoland is it.
- “The medicine will start working soon“, as you give it to them. We all know there’s a painful 30 mins to wait first. I get ‘Mummy I’m STILL POORLY (wahhhhhh)’ the moment he’s taken it. Sigh.
Let’s hope next week brings a healthier happier household. What are your biggest no nos to say to poorly little people?!