Article by Wendy McCance
I have come to realize that my biggest frustration as a parent is the inability to get my kids to make the most out of their lives. Kids aren’t puppets and you can’t control their thoughts or decisions when it comes to striving to push through hard times and demanding the best out of themselves. You can demonstrate hard work, dedication and a willingness to live a fulfilling life, but you can’t make a child think in this same way. You can only hope that they will grab this wisdom and use it themselves.
I understand that I am at a different stage in life than my kids are. I accept that I have had experiences that have made me see the world differently than the kids. Even so, it’s painful to watch some of the mistakes being made.
How do you help a child when they can’t see that they need the help? This is my biggest dilemma.
One of my kids is sick. We don’t know what is wrong yet. My daughter had a blood test that came back abnormal and now has an appointment with a specialist on the advice of her pediatrician. She is tired all the time and sleeps much of each day.
We are lucky in that our daughter’s school has been fabulous about working with us during this troubling time. Homework is getting done, but there is a struggle getting her to the school. Each morning I spend two hours going in and out her room trying to rouse her out of bed. She is so exhausted that it’s hard to get her to even understand that I am in the room trying to wake her.
Missing school has caused her to feel anxious and depressed. Unfortunately, she has given in to her condition and isn’t fighting to get more out of her day.
She has seen me go through the ups and downs of having fibromyalgia. She has seen me exhausted and in pain. She has also seen me fight it as I make the most out of each day. Sure I might take a nap when I am too exhausted to do much else. I have learned that if I don’t listen to my body, and respect the need for sleep, I will only make my symptoms worse. On the other hand, she has seen me live a pretty normal life. I have adjusted my work life so that I can work from home, but I found a way to work with what I deal with. I still work each day, clean the house, run errands and make meals. I won’t give in to a disease. I can’t accept living a life that is much less than what I want for myself.
My daughter is now having pain when she moves because of all of the inactivity. I have told her that a body isn’t made for lying around and that the less she moves the worse she is going to feel. There is a lactic acid buildup and she needs to move to release it.
My heart breaks because I see my daughter’s life being lost. I have begged her to fight through her symptoms. I am not looking for her to run a race, just make an effort to try to get through the day. I understand if she needs to take a nap. I can understand if she is too tired to get to school. I can’t understand when she doesn’t try to get out of bed. I just want to see an effort. I want her to show some determination to have a better life than what she has been allowing herself to have.
So here I am waiting for that appointment. It’s still days away. I am hoping that an answer is found and I can get my daughter the help she needs. In the mean time, we have talked quite a bit about not giving up or giving in to whatever is wrong with her. I know that much of what is going on is out of her control, yet I also know that she can control how she handles what she has been dealt with. I just hope she sees her life as important enough to find the fighter in herself. I wish I could do all the fighting for her, but she is the only one who can control the outcome of what type of life she decides to have.