I've recently discovered a pit-fall in raising a child while living with a chronic illness. "Bravery". I know sounds crazy, let me explain...
From the time I was diagnosed (when my daughter was six months old) until she was about four and a half my husband and I talked openly, in front of L, about my daily Sjogren's symptoms that I dealt with. Until, that is, L started saying that she was having the same symptoms to be empathetic with me. While I loved that she wanted to be so much like me, I didn't love that she was trying to emulate me with my illness. So my husband and I tried to back off on my "symptoms" talk, while our daughter was around.
Fast forward to the last two weeks when L has been sick, on two separate occasions, with two different illnesses. *sigh* And on both occasions she tried to hide the fact that she was sick at first. Well...this mama knows her girl, and I can tell right away when something is wrong with her. The first time she was sick it took me a half hour to finally get my daughter to admit that she wasn't feeling well. The second time she was sick it took her throwing up, in various spots on the school grounds and consequently being sent home, to get her to admit that she was sick. When I finally asked her, the second time around, why she didn't feel that she could tell me that she was feeling sick, her answer surprised me... "Brave. I'm trying to be brave. Like you when you're sick."
Parenting can be so tricky! About the time you think you've finally got
something "nailed down" your kiddos throw a wrench in the plans and
you've got to rework everything. It seems this has happened with our
"let's not talk about Mommy's symptoms" plan. Is this what she got from me trying not to talk about my daily symptoms in front of her? That I was being "brave" and that she needed to be like this when she is sick as well? A little piece of my heart breaks thinking that this is how my gentle little girl feels she has to act. I guess my husband and I are going back to the drawing board and need to come up with another way.
As if parenting on a "normal" basis doesn't give parents enough ways to potentially give their children life long issues!