Essential reading for every parent.
I hate it when my kids are sick.
I hate seeing them miserable and quiet (even though, when they’re well, I’m always wishing they’d be a little quieter).
And I really hate not being able to make them instantly well again.
But minor illnesses are a part of life for kids. In fact, young children often have eight to 10 colds a year. That’s a lot of snotty tissues.
We all go through it. With my son having started school this year, I’m going through a lot of it right now.
Here are some tips on how to survive.
1. Relax the rules on screen time.
This isn’t the time to enforce strict limits on kids’ TV or iPad use. Let them have more than usual, if they want it. Anything that will stop them thinking about how miserable they’re feeling is a good thing. Just tell yourself that as you listen to the incredibly irritating Fireman Sam theme song for the 100th time.
2. Buy them a present.
Kids deserve some kind of reward for bravely enduring their illness (or some kind of distraction if they’re whining non-stop).
Get them something they can use immediately – a new book you can read with them, or a game you can play together.
3. Make drinking fun.
It’s really important that kids keep up their fluids when they’re sick, and it’s easier to get them to do that if you’re a bit creative. Try giving them curly straws to drink with, or iceblocks made with fruit juice – whatever you think they’ll like. (Milk is fine, by the way. It’s a myth that you should avoid dairy products when you have a cold).
4. Let them eat whatever makes them feel better.
Soft, cool foods go down more easily if a child has a sore throat. Sitting on the couch eating ice cream together doesn’t sound too bad.