Parents and Children… and Surgery


Getting the news that you or your child needs surgery can be a scary thing for both parents and children.  Although adults understand that the surgery is a necessary procedure, kids seem to think that there is a high risk either for them to die or for the parent to die.  Follow these help- for-parents tips and positive parenting techniques to help ease your child’s fear about surgery.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
Parents and children need to be honest with each other.  If the parent needs to have a surgical procedure done, tell the child about it.  The child will probably voice his or her fears that you won’t be coming home from the hospital.  Don’t dismiss your child’s fears.  Help-for-parents advisors suggest that the parents and children discuss their fears.  Let the kids know that you’re scared too, but that you are confident that the doctor will have you good as new in no time.
If your child is the one needing surgery, you will need to start by discussing the reasons with him.  Although the doctor probably discussed it with both of you, you will still need to break it down into reasons that he or she can understand.  Again, it is essential that parents and children voice their fears and concerns, but also reassure the child that the doctor will have them healthy very soon. 
Take a Tour
When a child needs to have a surgical procedure done, many doctors will arrange a tour of the hospital for both parents and children.  In the event your doctor didn’t mention this to you, call his office and ask to set up a tour.  Most hospitals are happy to accommodate this.
A nurse will probably lead your child on the hospital tour.  You will probably be shown the pediatric ward, and the nurse usually explains the process of preparing the child for surgery.  Pediatric nurses are really great with kids as they work with and care for them on a daily basis. Once both parents and children take the tour and meet the nurses, some of the fears should be alleviated.  If not, ask the nurse if the hospital offers other help for parents with this problem.
Something to Look Forward to
It often helps if the child has something really fun to look forward to after the surgery.  This doesn’t have to be anything expensive, but it should be something that will excite the child.  A special toy, video game or trip that they’ve been wanting should do the trick.  This positive parenting trick should work wonders. 
Many parents and children who need to deal with surgery plan to have a party after the child is well again.  This can be an inexpensive way to celebrate his good health, and will get the child excited.  Be sure to allow him or her to help make the plans for the party.  He/she should be allowed to come up with the theme, but both parents and children can invite friends.  Your child will be really excited about getting the surgery over with so he/she can have that special party.
Alleviate the Anxiety
There are times when both parents and children still have fears and anxiety about the surgery. There are social workers at the hospital who provide help for parents with these problems. Usually, the social worker will sit down with the parents and children to discuss their fears. Because they are experienced counselors, they will be able to calm your nerves and help you all to feel more comfortable.   
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