By Leslie Lindsay
Being a former Child Psych R.N., I am super-excited to share this great new series from husband-wife team Nicole and Damir Fonovich. Cute, fun, whismical, and necessary…these stories help soften the blow to many “firsts” kiddos are sure to endure. What’s more, it’s multilingual and interactive.
This is the eighth installment in the App and eBook series Luca Lashes Visits Mommy in the Hospital. I am honored to present this helpful “tip sheet” for easing your child through the sometimes scary and traumatic experience of visiting a parent in the hospital.
There are a few occasions in life where a child is going to have to visit a parent in the hospital. Accidents happen, surgeries become necessary…life happens. When these occasions require extended, or even just overnight stays in the hospital, children will want to visit their parents. Sometimes just to be reassured, other times to make the parent feel better. Here are some tips to help get you through this.
1. Get Crafty
Children can be very creative, especially when they make something for their parents. This can be a card, a trinket, or some other craft in which they can convey their feelings to their parent. With a little help, a child can make something that can make anyone smile! Add a picture to this and it makes a great memento!
2. Share a meal?
Parents who are in the hospital are eating hospital food, often by themselves. When getting a visit from their children, it might be nice to have a picnic together at the hospital to help make this day a little brighter. Even if all you can do is share the hospital food together, a shared meal is always a great chance to laugh and connect!
3. Use technology!
Visiting hours at hospitals and doctor schedules don’t often correlate to the best times to have children visiting parents in the hospital. With so much global wifi around us, it is possible to use video chat applications like Skype or Facetime to help children connect with and see their parents, and vice versa, when put into this situation.
4. Be calm when it happens
Both the parent bringing the child to the hospital and the parent in the hospital need to be as calm and natural as they can be. This is not a regular occurrence where someone needs to stay at a hospital for medical care, and children often do not understand what is going on. Remember, model the behaviors you want your children to emulate. Stay comfortable and calm to set the example!
5. Use resources
A lot of hospitals now employ special counselors to help family members dealing with a loved one in the hospital. It is important to use all the resources at your disposal to make any experience easier and less of a challenge for your children, so make sure to inquire at the hospital! Why re-invent the wheel?
Visiting a spouse in the hospital is always a stressful situation. Add bringing the kids along, and this job just got a whole lot tougher. After the visit is over, make sure to ask your children how the visit went, what they liked or thought about it. Dialogue is so important in making everyone more comfortable with new experiences.
Luca Lashes Visits Mommy in the Hospital is available at www.LucaLashes.com and all major eBook and App marketplaces
NICOLE FONOVICH, M.Ed, is a tech-savvy mom blazing a new trail in children’s publishing.
DAMIR FONOVICH serves in many facets of the family company.