Handling the difficulties of caring for a child who has cystic fibrosis

Caring for a child who has cystic fibrosis can be difficult and frustrating for both parent and child. You may find the following suggestions help you deal with these challenges.

  • Focus on your child's strengths. Let your child know that you love and believe in him or her and that everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
  • Be realistic. In raising any child, there are no guarantees for success. It is important to remember to do the best you can and to know that you cannot control everything.
  • Give your child some responsibility for his or her care. Children who understand the disease and participate in their own treatment often stay healthier.
  • Deal with problems. Children who have cystic fibrosis may have to work harder to compensate for some of the social, emotional, and educational problems they experience because of the illness. Parents can help children to work through these problems by promoting self-acceptance and enthusiasm for facing challenges. Ignoring problems usually makes them worse.
  • Learn about the disease. Often the biggest problem for a parent is fear of the unknown. Educating yourself will help you figure out what you can really do to help your child.
  • Join a cystic fibrosis support group to share your experiences with other parents of children who have cystic fibrosis. Knowing other people who face similar challenges may help you feel less alone or overwhelmed.
  • Seek counseling. Talking to a professional can help you sort out your emotions.

Last Updated: June 23, 2009

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