Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Talking to Your Child's Caregivers after a Parent Is Injured

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Talking to Your Child's Caregivers after a Parent Is Injured

Article excerpt

When a parent has suffered an injury, there is so much to consider. Explaining the parent's injury to your children and discussing the changes it may cause in their lives will likely be high on your list. Once you've talked with your children, monitoring how they are handling the situation will be important. Since you can't be with your children at all moments of the day, enlisting the help of their day care providers and school officials can help you keep a pulse on the situation. Here are some topics that you may wish to cover when meeting with these key people.

PROVIDE BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Provide teachers and day care providers with details on how the injury occurred, offering as much information as you feel necessary. Remember to provide enough for them to fully understand and empathize with your child. If some details are too personal, that's OK; you decide what to share and what to keep private.

EXPLAIN CHANGES IN THE HOME LIFE

Give specifics about how this injury directly affects your child. For example, he or she may now be required to get up earlier or make other daily schedule changes due to your responsibilities changing. Perhaps the change will require you to seek out alternative after-school care, where your child will be adjusting to a new situation. Or, your son or daughter may simply be seeing the injured parent less often and missing him or her. Offering details about how your child's daily situation has changed will give others insight into what he or she is going through and will allow them to better understand and relate to your child.

DISCUSS HOW YOUR CHILD IS REACTING

Provide school and day care employees with information regarding how your child has been responding to the news and changes so far. Give specific examples of any changes in behavior or mood that you have observed, and ask them to keep an eye out for these or other concerns. …

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