I just got a completely new perspective on my illnessess, all from talking to a three-year-old.
If you spend any time with children, you know that they’re naturally curious. “Why?” is a question that you hear a lot. I’m spending the day with a good friend and her little girls. The older one is approaching four years old and she questions everything. Why do I like drinking water? Why don’t I like tomatoes? Why don’t I want to sit down? Why am I taking medicine? Why won’t I get down on the ground to play?
We all know that it can be difficult to explain these things to an adult, but it’s so different trying to explain them to a child. I can say that I do something because it makes me feel better, but I want to be careful; I don’t want her to think she should do the same thing to feel good. And if I say that I don’t do something because it makes me feel bad, will she start to think she shouldn’t do it, in case it makes her feel bad? She doesn’t know what a chronic illness is, and I don’t think she should, not at her age. Explaining all of my dos and don’ts, should and shouldn’ts, can and can’ts has taken on a whole new meaning. It forces me to look at my own abilities and limitations in a new way, to think of ways to explain it all to a three-year-old without lying. It’s an intereting challenge, and one that I am glad to take on, because I think that the new perspective is healthy for me.
If you want to see your health in a new way, trying chatting about it with a child for while. I can almost guarantee that you won’t see your illnesses in the same way anymore.
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