Monday, February 23, 2015

8 Ways to Cheer Up Your Child when they are sick or feeling down

My oldest daughter had a nasty virus for quite a few days. She was lethargic, feverish, had chills and basically just felt crummy. Her fever wasn't responding well to med's and she was forced to lay around for quite a few days while her body fought the nasty germs.

It's hard for a parent to watch their child suffer. Aside from taking them to the doctor, dosing medicine, and giving hugs, you feel like there isn't much you can do. You wish you could take their illness/sadness/troubles away from them, but you can't.

Here are some ways you can cheer up your child when they aren't feeling well... or if they are just down or having a bad day.

1) Cuddle and Massage
Touch is a huge healer. Ask your child if they'd like a massage-- places like the head and the feet hold tons of nerves and the sensation of having a massage can relieve stress and tension. If massage isn't your thing, try a back scratch or brush their hair.

2) Home Videos
My kids love to snuggle up and watch home videos, but it's not something we do too often. This is a fun way to get their mind of something and focus on happy times.

3) Watch a movie... together
Yes, you can put a movie on for your child and then go do something else... but I know it means a lot to my kids if I actually sit down and watch something with them. Shared experiences, even watching movies, is a great way to bond and you can work in #1 while you do it!

4) Play a quick and quiet game together
When you're not feeling well or you have a fever, it can be hard to read or play complex games. It can hurt your eyes to focus on something for too long and you get tired easily. We like to play short and easy games like UNO, Battleship, or Go Fish when the kids aren't feeling well.

5) Write them a note
Kids LOVE to receive hand-written notes, especially from mom and dad. Write them a note telling them that you know how they are feeling and you wish you could make them feel all better. Include some encouraging scripture or quotes to boost their spirits. Draw them a silly little picture in the note and then leave them some room to write you back (I bet you they will!).

6) Tea and Toast
Warm tea and honey and toast with cinnamon and sugar is a cure for almost anything that ails you. If your child doesn't like tea, try warm apple juice or hot chocolate (although not if they have the stomach flu... yuck!) Bring it to them on a fancy tray with a flower (even fake is ok) and a smile and you'll show them you care.

7) Draw them a Bubble Bath
Most older kids don't take baths anymore, but they can be sooooo relaxing. Even when you're sick and don't at all feel like bathing, you usually feel so much better after you do. If your kids are old enough to take a bath unattended, you could even dim the lights and add some candles to the bathroom counter and play some quiet music. Your child will feel so relaxed... and grown up! Make sure to warm their towel in the dryer before they get out so they are warm and toasty afterwards.

8) Break the Rules
When your kids are sick, it's okay to break the rules. They understand that this is an exception and they won't expect them to be broken when they are well. Allow the family dog up on their bed to cuddle, even if they aren't usually allowed there. Increase the time they are allowed to use video games or watch tv-- you know when you don't feel good, there isn't much else to do. Let them eat oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner too if that's the only thing that sounds good to them. Let them stay in their pj's all day.

What are your tried and true ways to cheer up your kids when they aren't feeling well? Leave a comment below- I'd love to hear your suggestions!

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