Surgery is always a nerve wracking experience – especially for children. It can be so hard for a child to feel brave when faced with surgery, and just has hard for parents to see what they are going through. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make the experience easier for them.
It may seem easier to leave the details out and assume that your child won’t understand. But when it comes to their mental wellbeing, you really need to keep them informed as much as possible. Even if they don’t quite grasp what you are telling them, the fact that they are having the process explained will be a massive help and take some of the stress of their shoulders.
Let Them Talk
Another extremely helpful factor is to let your child talk. If they bottle up their feelings they are going to feel a whole lot worse, so it’s important for them to let things out. Make some time for you, and maybe some other adults they trust, to sit down and have a conversation with them. Tell them that they should ask any questions they have and not to hold themselves back.
Talk to Someone Who’s Done it
One of the most reassuring things for a child, or anyone, is to talk to someone who’s already been through surgery. If you have a friend or a family member who has gone through something similar, it can be a great idea to invite them over and ask them to speak with your child. There is nothing more helpful than the advice and empathy of someone who knows exactly how you feel.
Prepare Them for After
Just like it’s important to address the facts and talk about your child’s fears, it can be a good idea and try to focus on life after the surgery. By focusing on the way life will resume, your child will cease focusing on the surgery itself. Talk to them about plans for afterwards, perhaps there is something special they would like to do once they’ve recovered. By talking about the positives of life after surgery, they should start to feel a lot more confident.
Talk about the Cause
Nothing is more important than addressing the need for the surgery. Explain to your child while it is necessary, and make sure that they understand it has to be done. If they agree, and ultimately want to have it done despite their nerves, they may start to feel a lot better about the situation as a whole.
Surgery is a hard process for everybody involved. The best thing you can do is make sure that your child knows that you are there for them to talk to whenever they feel the need. Explain the process to them and the realities of the situation. There is no point hiding things from them, realistically, they will be more confident knowing the ins and outs of the situation. For information and support regarding your child’s surgery visit the Dr Woods website.