A KidneyBuzz.com viewer and Chronic Kidney Disease patient who conducts Dialysis wrote, "I am a Dialysis patient and my 3 children are finding it difficult. What can I do about it? What kind of support can I best offer them?"
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As any person with Chronic Kidney Disease knows, their diagnosis of Kidney Failure can have a powerful psychological effect on their family and especially their children. In fact, the complicated feelings and lifestyle changes caused by Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis may become equally overwhelming for a patient's family as it is for the patient. However, by understanding the potential changes in the way you relate to your children may help you take steps to foster healthy, mutually supportive relationships as your child develops into an adult.
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Although the effects of Chronic Kidney Disease may vary between different parents and children, communication is critical. Children often approach any chronic illness including Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis with uncertainty, fear, guilt and anxiety. Therefore, the parent must, "maintain awareness of this growing issue and respond accordingly," reported the website resource Primary Psychiatry.
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Many parents within the Chronic Kidney Disease community do not discuss their illness because they want to protect their children from the stresses and uncertainty of Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis. However, this does not work. Even very young children can sense that something is wrong, and avoiding the topic may lead them to believe that the situation is worse than it is - creating further feelings of confusion and fear. Understanding that you must be careful with how you share the information and the type of information you provide your children based upon ages and maturity levels, be as honest as possible with them.
Thanks to modern advances, long-term survival has greatly improved for all stages of Chronic Kidney Disease. Nonetheless, children must get used to a parent's increased fatigue and decreased strength due to toxin build-up and Dialysis Treatments. Kids will understand, and hearing it from their parents directly can often be reassuring, suggested Researchers Suzanne R. Smith and Elizabeth Soliday.
Even patients who have been on Dialysis for many years find it very difficult to maintain their responsibilities as a parent while living with Chronic Kidney Disease. It can often become both physically and emotionally exhausting, right? Well, when it reaches that point, Chronic Kidney Disease patients should reevaluate their schedules as well as "To-Do Lists" and accept help from others including their children.
When your kids understand that you do not have the time or energy for everything as you once did, they are often much more accommodating. What's more, asking for help when you need it will allow you to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your loved ones.
A Dialysis patient should expect shifts in their child's behavior as they adjust to the changes resulting from Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis. Younger children may become overly clingy or impulsive, while older children or teenagers may become angry or distant and withdraw from family activities.
Remember to be patient. Try and maintain a steady schedule for all of your children, and encourage them to ask questions as well as talk about their feelings including fears. The website, Cancer.net noted, "Reassure your children that they will always receive care and that you will always love them."
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Friends, you may be reassured to know that there is no "right" way to talk to children about Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis. Still, being as honest as possible with them is the most fundamental aspect for them to understand your situation and prevent undue fear.
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