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Coping Strategies for Parents

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Your Child's Most Important Support System: You

The better prepared you are, the more comfortable you are likely to feel. And this, in turn, may help your child feel more comfortable. Here are some suggestions for coping with your child's health care experience.

Educate Yourself

  • Gather information about your child's condition and treatment.
  • Keep a notebook where you can write down your questions as they come to you.

Participate in Your Child's Care

  • Talk to the child life specialist about your child so we can help meet their needs.
  • Share information about any prior hospitalizations your child has had.
  • Let the child life specialist know when your child is scheduled for a test or procedure, and we can help to explain it if you'd like.
  • Tell hospital staff about special routines, religious customs and ethnic traditions that your child and family observe, so we can make your child's experience more normal.
  • Let us know if your other children are having difficulty adjusting to your child's health situation

Let Others Help

  • Don't try to be perfect.
  • Give yourself a break and take family and friends up on their offers of help.
  • Talk to friends or a professional counselor about how you're feeling.
  • Take advantage of hospital resources, including social workers and support groups.

Take Care Of Yourself

  • Get plenty of rest. You'll be better equipped to handle the stress that goes with being the parent of a child who needs heart care.
  • If your child is hospitalized, bring reading material, games or projects for your own enjoyment.

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