Is your child suffering from Celiac disease, food allergies, sensitivities or intolerances?
If the answer to this is “yes” then you know how difficult it can be to assure your child’s safety at all times. Your child’s situation may range from life threatening food allergies to sensitivities that my cause a lot of discomfort. Whatever the case may be, you know that it can be challenging to make sure that your child does not come into any contact with the food that needs to be avoided. Whether in day care, school, at playdates, birthday parties, etc., the risk of contact with allergens can be high unless proper precautions are taken. However, it can be extremely overwhelming and frustrating having to educate everyone from friends to teachers about your child’s needs. It can even be difficult and take a long time to get an accurate diagnosis from your Doctor. Learning how to communicate with others in an effective manner about your child’s needs may help reduce fear and anxiety as well as help you feel more confident in your approach.
For children, living with food allergies can be especially overwhelming. Children “should” have few worries in the world and “should” be able to live somewhat carefree while learning and enjoying their childhood. However, one instance of anaphylactic shock can be enough to start a cycle of fear, excessive worrying and anxiey in a child’s life, interfering with their ability to socialize freely, enjoy parties, relax at school, and may affect many other areas of their lives. Helping a child learn to stay safe while teaching them to still just be a “kid” is extremely valuable. By learning skills to manage these issues effectively, children can return to enjoying their childhood, while still keeping themselves safe. Furthemore, teaching children to advocate for themselves and to validate their own emotional experiences is important for growth and developing independence.
How Counseling Can Help You?
- Increase effective communicate of your child’s needs to care providers, friends, family members, and others
- Reduce anxiety about attending social situations with your child
- If your child’s allergy is so severe that you have to put some of your social life on hold for awhile (i.e. traveling, attending social events, etc.), learn how to cope with this, how to let go of resentments and how to create a safe haven within your own home
- Increase coping skills for managing stress, anxiety and fear and increase acceptance of the situation
- Find happiness within your current situation
- Help your child refocus attention from food to activities at social events
- Work on educating your child about why she/he has to eat differently from other children
- Help your child feel accepted the way he/she is and reduce feelings of isolation and being different than other children
How Can Counseling Help Your Child?
- Your child will learn skills to effectively manage excessive worrying, fear and anxiety
- Improve confidence and self esteem
- Learn to effectively advocate for him/herself
- Improve relaxation and mindfulness skills
- Help your child to feel less isolated
- Address other areas in your child’s life that are being affected (i.e. making friends, feeling safe at school, etc.)
- Address bullying