Our user “Hurting” said of our recent article on how to tell young children that you are living in pain; “More helpful would be an article on how to explain to teenage children that you are in horrible, chronic pain all the time, and they need to help out more.”
The Bad News
Firstly, it’s best for us to acknowledge an ugly truth. A study in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship (and there are other studies that confirm this) does not paint a parent in pain in a good light.
They found that teenagers with parents in pain though their parents were angry, irritable and unpredictable. They also found they would hide their feelings and needs from their parents and that they often blamed themselves for the pain. In the worst cases, teenagers of parents in pain turned to substance abuse.
The Good News – It’s All About Communication
All of these studies show that the issue is not the pain. It’s a breakdown in communication, on both sides of the line.
That means that the problem can be remedied with communication too.
It is important to clearly communicate how you are feeling (try mood badges – red for “bad day”, orange for “I can cope” and green for “feeling good”) and for your children to be able to do the same.
You need to set aside a regular slot each week to discuss your issues and your children’s issues. You need to acknowledge that while your pain is not their fault, it may at times be their burden to bear too.
You need to listen to what they need from you. You need to ask for their help in return.
If you cannot do this easily yourself, please consider family counseling. That can really help get things back on track.
Good luck “Hurting”. We feel for you.
We also recommend that, if you haven’t already, you try a free CBD oil trial and see if that helps with your pain.