Helping you Child with PA and EA

Posted on: Tue, 09/28/2004 - 1:02pm
DWL's picture
DWL
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Joined: 09/25/2004 - 09:00

My son quite often gets angry that he has these allergies and I don't know how to let him knows it's okay and it is just something we have to live with. I have tried a few different ways to explain it but nothing seems to help. He will lay in bed on occasion and pray to God that he wished there were no peanuts or eggs in the world. I don't want him to be sad or feel diffrent. Can anyone help? He is 6 going on 16, a very mature boy for his age with alot of opinions.

Posted on: Thu, 09/30/2004 - 3:43am
Suzy Q's picture
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Joined: 05/20/2004 - 09:00

This is really difficult and I'm sure gets harder as the child gets older and really starts to understand how the allergies affect their life. I only have 1 year of experience dealing with this food allergy, so not as much experience as others here in this area.
My son is only 3 and in the 'Why' phase and already asks why he has food allergies. I tell him that this is just the way God made him, same reason he has brown hair and brown eyes. Unfortunately there is no hard, fast answer.
I try to focus on the positives with his allergy - he can have milk, wheat, etc. - instead of the fact that he can't eat PN. I also try to bake for him so that he can still have these items. It is more of an inconvenience, but just a fact of life.
I guess eventually our children go through the same struggle we do with trying to understand why this has happened to them. I know that I did during the first year and just cried and felt overwhelmed a lot trying to adjust our eating habits and learn new ways to cook. It was easier coming home from work and opening a box of tuna helper than spending a long time preparing a meal.
My husband tries to keep it positive also and point out to me that he doesn't have a terrible disease like leukemia which would probably have a greater impact on his overall quality of life.
Some days it is tough and depressing, other days I don't worry about it as much.
Good luck to you.

Posted on: Thu, 09/30/2004 - 7:21am
mommyofmatt's picture
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Joined: 03/12/2004 - 09:00

DWL,
I'm afraid I don't have much advice to offer you. My ds is younger than yours. Would it maybe help him to volunteer somewhere where kids have other serious illnesses to give him a different perspective?
Has he reviewed the videos and materials that FAAN has for kids? Do you belong to and does he get a copy of the FAAN newsletter for kids so he can learn about other kids with this allergy?
That's all I can think of, sorry if you've already tried all the above. Please keep us posted on how he's doing.
------------------
Meg, mom to:
Matt 2 yrs. PA,MA,EA
Sean 2 yrs. NKA

Posted on: Thu, 09/30/2004 - 9:17am
kelly01's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2001 - 09:00

Hi Dwl:
My son is almost 8 and I can relate to what you are saying. He really became unhappy w/the whole situation around 5-6 years old. He still is not happy about it, but in the last few months he has grown more accepting of it (possibly maturing a little?).
Anyway, I don't have any solutions for you, but just found that his anger about it coincided w/school becoming more of a focal point in his life. Luckily, as time has worn on, he has met other children w/PA (and/or more restrictive allergies)...that has seemed to help him see it in a different light.
I just keep reminding my son, that there are LOTS of things in life he can enjoy, and while having the peanut allergy can be a pain, it doesn't hold him back from doing anything (except eating peanuts!)It doesn't work magic, but eventually I am hoping it sinks in.
Kelly

Posted on: Thu, 09/30/2004 - 10:09am
punkinsmom's picture
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Joined: 12/07/2000 - 09:00

My dd just turned 7 and this issue comes up with sometimes (usually when she thinks she is missing out on something). I have dealt with it by trying to explain that everyone has difficulties that they have to deal with and try to give her examples. This summer we went to Cedar Point. In a conversation we were having about my having motion sicknes problems and not being able to ride roller coasters she proclaimed "peanut allergies are WAY better than motion sickness. I'm glad I don't have that!" I guess my point is that it's a process and doesn't happen overnight. Good luck.

Posted on: Thu, 09/30/2004 - 12:07pm
falcon's picture
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Joined: 07/03/2004 - 09:00

Something that seems to have helped my 7 year olds (one PA/TNA, and one not)was to say that all people make choices about the foods they eat. Some people choose to avoid foods that they are allergic to in order to stay healthy, some people choose to avoid eating sweet things because that is what will help them stay healthy, some people choose to avoid meat, fish, chicken, eggs, etc, because they do not believe in eating anything that comes from an animal, etc. Our family has chosen to avoid nuts because that is what we need to do to stay as healthy as possible. Imagine how you would feel if we decided it was best for us to avoid sweets! Wouldn't that be a lot worse than just having to avoid nuts? My son totally agreed. He loves his sweets! I also, point out that he is able to have a much larger variety of foods than folks allergic to soy, corn, wheat...started telling him about foods they have to avoid. It made quite an impression that he would have to give up pasta, lots of sweets, breads,etc. Helped him to appreciate what he can eat.
If he is particularly upset about not having some food item, I say that I can understand that he would like to try that food, then describe how it tastes to me in a manner that I think would be unappealing to him. He doesn't like strong smells and certain textures. So when possible, I emphasize these characteristics if appropriate. Or I find an alternative food and make a big deal about how much better the alternative tastes. It is also helpful to have another child comment that he doesn't like the desired food, if that is indeed the case. Like I was thrilled the other day when my allergic child asked his non-allergic brother if he would like to try peanut butter. His brother is now in a class that is not peanut free, so he now knows what pb smells like. He said, "ABSOLUTELY NOT! IT SMELLS TERRIBLE!"
I have also tried to put food into a perspective of something you simply need to survive and that is it. Sometimes it is yummy, sometimes it is fun, but mostly it is simply a means to something more fun and more important...like everything else you like to do!

Posted on: Fri, 10/01/2004 - 12:01am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Quote:Originally posted by DWL:
[b]My son quite often gets angry that he has these allergies and I don't know how to let him knows it's okay and it is just something we have to live with.[/b]
I'm not sure if I'm misunderstanding you here.
It [b]is[/b] OK for him to get angry about his allergies. I'm an adult and sometimes I get angry about them. As long as it does not become all consuming, a bit of appropriate anger is healthy.
Sometimes, I just want to crawl into a dark little corner and cry. (something I am not capable of) That would probably be a healthy thing to do once-in-a-while too.
*********
Does he have a way to let out his anger? (Either hitting a pillow, or doing something physical - like running or swimming. It just lets the anger out and by the end you feel a bit better.)

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