Childhood is hard enough as it is, but it can be particularly challenging when you have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. As parents, you want to do everything you possibly can to help your little one through these difficult times.
Below are 7 things your child or teenager with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may be worrying about and some tips on how to support them.
7 things your child with IBD may be worrying about
- Will my friends stop inviting me to places because I keep having to cancel plans?
- Will my teacher understand that I'll need to go to use the bathroom during class or tests?
- Did anyone in class just hear my stomach make all those noises?
- What will I do if I have an accident at school?
- Will I ever be able to do things independently?
- I can't go on that class trip because it'll be a long bus ride and what if I have to go to the bathroom?
- Will I make it to the bathroom on time if I need to go?
How you can help relieve your child’s worries
If you’re reading this, you should know that you’re likely already doing so much to support your child and they appreciate you more than you know. To help calm some of their worries outside the home, here are a few tips to try:
- Remind them that their true friends will accept them exactly how they are.
- Tell the school nurse about your child’s needs and request that accommodations be made to allow them to use the bathroom whenever they need to. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation has a great resource page about requesting accommodations at school.
- Leave a change of clothes in their locker or with the school nurse in case of an accident.
- If you can, make special arrangements for them to participate in school trips, like driving them yourself.
- Work with their GI psychologist, gastroenterologist, & pediatric IBD dietitian who can help your child cope with their diagnosis, adjust medications to reduce inflammation, and adjust their diet to reduce symptoms and improve energy.
- For your teen, reassure them that they didn’t cause their symptoms and offer to take over some of their responsibilities if they’re feeling exhausted.
- Remind them that many people, including many celebrities, live independently and successfully with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Their diagnosis is not a weakness but rather a challenge that will make them stronger and more resilient than their peers.
If your child is still experiencing symptoms and you’re looking for support, reach out and request a complimentary call to learn how we can help. We help kids and adults with Crohn’s and colitis identify their trigger foods and implement an expansive and sustainable diet that the whole family can support.