Coping with a sick child can be difficult for any parent. However, it can be especially challenging when you are co-parenting a sick child.
When your child is ill, it is a stressful time for the whole family. Often 1 parent must take time off work to look after them. Other siblings, who are not sick, still have activities to get to and meals and chores still need to be done.
Therefore, it is important to work together to come up with a plan that meets the needs of the child and both parents. Co-parenting a sick child requires teamwork, patience and compassion.
Co-Parenting A Sick Child
As a parent, you wear a lot of hats. You are a chauffeur, teacher, cook, guide, and friend. You are also their disciplinarian and their biggest fan. It is a lot to juggle!
However, the toughest (emotionally and mentally) parenting role you may have to play is when your child falls ill. Being a parent to a sick child can be difficult for everyone. Whether it’s the common cold caught at school and brought home to their siblings or an upset stomach from overeating candy. Any time a child feels unwell there is pressure put on the entire family!
For co-parents, a sick child can be especially tricky to manage. For example, if you and your partner don’t live together (for whatever reasons) there may be added stress. You may need to figure out a schedule for who will stay home with the child and when.
You may also have to communicate with your co-parent about what treatments the child is receiving and whether or not they are working.
To make co-parenting a sick child easier, read on!
Five Easy Tips In Co-Parenting A Sick Child
Here are some tips you can refer to navigate the waters of co-parenting a sick child:
1. Prepare Before The Illness Arrives
Environmental exposure, genetic disposition, and stress can lead to a higher susceptibility to illness. Of course, every child gets sick at some point, but you can help your child (and yourself!) by understanding the trigger factors for your kid and foods to avoid them as much as possible.
Children can also be at harm from secondary exposure to a threatening disease like Mesothelioma. Therefore, it is important to know if you or your co-parent has exposed your child to someone who has the disease.
Always look for information and fact-check things. Whether in Pennsylvania, Florida, or any other state, you can find all the help you need.
You should also educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of different illnesses, so you can act quickly if your child falls ill.
Make sure that you both have access to the child’s medical records and are up-to-date on allergies or chronic conditions.
2. Communicate With Your Co-Parent
Whether you live together or not, keeping a co-parent in the loop about your child’s illness is essential. Maybe your child needs to stay back from school for a day or two, or perhaps they need to see the doctor. Whatever the case may be, ensure open and healthy communication with your co-parent.
And what can help you do that? A parenting communication app! There are many different apps available, like OurFamilyWizard and Talking Parents. These apps can help you keep track of your child’s medical appointments, medications, and even school absences.
Maintain your calm when communicating, though! It’s none too difficult for parenting stress to turn into a full-blown argument. If you are upset, take a step back and try again later.
Remember, it’s not about winning an argument, it’s about what’s best for your child.
3. Be Proactive When Co-Parenting A Sick Child
You know your child and their immunization schedule better than anyone. If you think they may be due for a booster shot or catch-up immunization, get them in to see the doctor before starting school or daycare.
It will help to ensure that they (and their classmates) are as protected as possible from preventable illnesses. You must also keep your child up-to-date on routine vaccinations, like the flu shot.
The flu shot is a must for everyone six months and older, so be sure to get yours, too!
If your work schedule doesn’t allow you to take time off for doctor’s appointments, your co-parent can take the lead on this one.
But you must be on the same page about your child’s immunization schedule and health.
If you’ve been handling it since day one, take some time to inform your co-parent about the specifics.
4. Trust Each Other
Some parents face difficulty co-parenting a sick child because they simply don’t trust the other parent to take care of their child when they are unwell. It could be because they are scared of giving up control or because of past conflict.
If you find yourself in this predicament, you must take a step back and assess the situation. For example, is there a reason you don’t trust your co-parent? Are they generally irresponsible, or do they have a history of not caring for your child when they are sick?
If you have a well-grounded reason for not trusting your co-parent, then it is essential to communicate this with them. If not, it is time to let go of that mistrust and give them a chance to prove themselves.
It can be taxing to let go of control. But it is important to remember that you are not alone in this parenting journey. You have a partner who is just as invested in your child’s well-being.
5. Maintain Positive Relationships With Co-Parent
Illness can be draining, not just for the sick child but for the parents too. So, maintaining positive relationships with your co-parent is important, even when things are tough.
You must always keep positivity and communication at the forefront. However, if an issue arises, take some time to cool down before addressing it. You don’t want to say something you’ll regret later on.
You two must work as a team, not as conflicted individuals, to provide the best possible care for your sick child. Your optimism and healthy communication will have a positive impact on your child.
It is also important to remember that, as a parent, you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you through this tough time.
If you are struggling, contact a therapist or counselor specializing in co-parenting relationships. They can help you work through any conflict and develop a plan for moving forward.
Managing a sick child is hard enough, but doing it alone can be even more challenging. In fact, co-parenting a sick child can bring a whole new range of issues forward.
If you are a co-parent, it is crucial to maintain positive communication and work together as a team. Following the above tips can make the process a little easier for everyone involved.
What’s important is that you both take care of yourselves, too. Don’t forget to schedule some time for your partner to relax and recharge. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
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Sara is our super author here at famous parenting and is an absolute wealth of knowledge. Sara has studied many topics including creative writing and journalism and loves to study how famous parents and entrepreneurs raise their kids. Her biggest passion lies in raising her 5 children. Between working from home, homeschooling her youngest 2 children and navigating the world of teenagers she really is a parenting guru.