Posted on: Mon, 04/30/2001 - 12:58pm
ARI's picture
Joined: 12/14/2000 - 09:00

pHi all, /p
pI need to share something that happened the other night at my house because I am feeling like maybe Ive done the wrong thing. My son is 2 1/2 years old and since he could talk I have told him "No Nuts" long before he even knew what I was talking about. Now he really understands, in the supermarket he looks for the jars and if he sees them he tells me to run away from them. If peanut butter is mentioned in a TV show he tells me no peanut butter and so on. /p
pWell the other day my niece and him were really arguing and when I asked what was going on they told me that my niece was saying that she liked peanut butter and she can eat it whenever she likes and my son was saying peanut butter is bad. So this turned into a screaming match. /p
pNow the point of all this. My son woke up the other night screaming and when I went to get him he said he was having a bad dream. When I asked about what he said "NUTS". Then he proceded to tell me that his cousin can eat peanut butter and then she will have to go in the ambulance and he was sad. Do you think I should be telling him about peanuts at this age and keeping re-enforcing it. I have to say I remind him a lot especially out. /p
pHas anyone else had an experience like this. I thought I was doing a good thing but feel horrible that he had a nightmare about NUTS. On the other hand, I feel good that he really understands what I am telling him. /p
pAny thoughs./p

Posted on: Mon, 04/30/2001 - 2:20pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

I have always tried to tell my kids "some poeple can have peanuts and some people can't". I did this when I would be eating PB in front of my kids as we ate lunch or whatever. Now, I won't eat it in front of them anymore. Too risky! Nevertheless, I say it the same way. When he sees other people having it or candy with peanuts and says something about it, I just remind him that "some people get sick with peanuts and some people don't". Often I add a little "I don't know why, buts that's just what happens sometimes". My boy is 4 1/2 now but I have used this language with him since I thought he was PA at the age of one. Its amazing how much they haven't minded the whole thing. (I say 'they' because my PA son is an identical twin and I have taught them both that they are PA. Good or bad to do I don't know. Just easier for me not to worry about people wanting to know which one can't have nuts, etc.)
I have also tried to help them understand other things in situations where they are the 'haves' and not the 'have nots'. For instance a kid in their preschool can't have wheat. I have told them that it makes this boy sick just like peanuts make them sick.
Just tonight my PA son asked me why he had a strawberry (hemangioma) on his head. I just said "almost everybody has funny things about them. Like I have a little cyst behind my ear" (and I let him feel it since it isn't visible). "Daddy's eyes don't work to well, I don't know why, but he just wears glasses to help him see better."
I don't know if this helps at all but it seems to be working for me.
By the way, I also avoid little dumb temper tantrums by talking this way. For instance, maybe we're driving on the highway and on twin spots a car carrier and ooohs and ahhs over it and the its gone. Meanwhile the other twin didn't see it because he looked the wrong direction. He may get really sad and start to cry that he didn't get to see it, but I'll say "oh, man! I missed it, too! Maybe we'll find another one". I've even said this after I was the one who pointed the thing out in the first place. They are only 4 1/2. I wonder when they'll call my bluff!
Good Luck,
C&N's Mom
[This message has been edited by C&N's Mom (edited May 01, 2001).]

Posted on: Tue, 05/01/2001 - 3:57am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

ARI, I have to agree with C & N's Mom. Although it is unfortunate that your son actually had a nightmare about nuts, I believe the more talking you do, in whatever language you feel your child can understand at certain ages, will only benefit you later.
I believe the same goes for MedicAlert bracelets and fanny packs/Epi-belts with Epi-pens in them. The sooner children begin wearing them, they less they balk at the idea of wearing them. The items become part and parcel of their person.
I totally agree with C & N's Mom, that you explain that No, your son can't have peanuts but there are lots of people in the world that can. My son, even at 5, surprised me the other day (I posted about it under Living with PA - How Did PA Affect Your Day) when he saw an M & M at the doctor's office and said that he would have been really angry if he saw the person who had been eating the M & M's.
I explained to him that it actually wasn't okay for him to be angry at the person because most of the world can eat peanuts safely and that it is not the person's fault.
(I actually feel angry that people HAVE to eat in such places but that's another story).
Of course, inevitably, there's the question, why am I allergic to peanuts? Is there anyone else allergic to peanuts? (even though we have several pictures of PA children, Jesse has never MET another PA child and is the only one in his school), why isn't my sister allergic to anything? etc. But, as C & N's Mom pointed out, I just explain and explain (not to death like I do here [img][/img] ) and I really believe this works.
It's funny you should have mentioned a bad dream. When I saw the title, I thought perhaps it was a parent writing about a dream they had had. I just had one. I had one that Jesse had a reaction. Then another blip came into my brain where someone was trying to phone me to tell me that Jesse had had a reaction but I couldn't hear what they were saying because the children were too loud in the background (including Jesse) and I kept yelling "I can't hear you!" and I was shaking. Needless to say, I knew it was time to get off the sofa, get lunch together and get busy because I could feel an anxiety attack coming on. I also kept the phone line free well until AFTER Jesse's lunch.
I know your son is young yet, but have you tried going to the (edited by the office; old url removed as that web site address is no longer used or owned by the book company that published the no nuts for me book. The book company's web site on 01/08/2007 [url=""][/url] ) website and having him watch the animated book? Maybe if he sees Noah talking to HIM it will help him understand a bit better, although, as I say, he is a bit young.
Also, in your post, you didn't mention anything about reactions. Has your son had a reaction recently? I'm wondering if that could have been what triggered the nightmare in combination with the argument with his cousin.
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Tue, 05/01/2001 - 5:13am
rilira's picture
Joined: 11/11/1999 - 09:00

I think you are doing a great job. It seems more to me that your son did not have a nightmare about nuts, your son had a nightmare about his cousin being hurt by nuts. There is a difference. He just doesn't get the concept that some people can and some people can't eat nuts. He thought his cousin would get hurt when she told him she ate peanut butter whenever she wanted.
I always tell the kids at my daughter's school that nuts are not bad- they are just bad for Rachel because they make her sick. To help her not get sick , we don't eat nuts around her but it is ok for them to eat nuts when she is not around. A child will always then pop up with as long as we wash real well when we are done and as long as we don't bring them in the classroom.
As a younger child, I always told Rachel everybody's bodies grow differently on the inside and the outside. Some people have blond hair, some have brown- we can see those differences on the outside. Inside our bodies grow differnt too some people can eat nuts and some can't because of the way their bodies grow on the inside.
She was able to understand these differences. Don't stop educating your son. His being able to understand his allergy is going to keep him safe. Just emphasize more that it is ok for some people.
Take care,

Posted on: Tue, 05/01/2001 - 10:22am
ARI's picture
Joined: 12/14/2000 - 09:00

Hi All,
Thanks for your input. I will continue to educate him as best as I can any maybe change my approach. I think I am so mad at this PA that when I relay the information to him I do it in an angry way (toward the peanuts) if that makes sense.
No Cindy Anthony has never (knock wood) had a reaction. He had reactions to several foods as an infant and I had requested a blank RAST from my pediatrician and she said go to town, if thats what makes you happy. Well when he came back positive for PA her and I both almost hit the floor.
But I will definately use some of your explanations to help him along. He does go to preschool and there are 5 other children in his school who are PA so I understand your nightmare C&N about the phone call eventhough they are diligent my stomach sinks every time I drop him off.
Thanks again.

Posted on: Tue, 05/01/2001 - 8:15pm
Claire's picture
Joined: 04/19/2000 - 09:00

Ari, I always told Christopher right from the minute we knew he was allergic. If you don't tell them and wait to long the kids will never understand. They learn better when younger. My other son is 3 and he will also argue over anyone eating peanut butter,in fact there was someone eating it on t.v the other day,and he asked me if it was o.k. As far as your sons dream he will probably be just fine. I think most kids will dream about whatever upset them within a week or so of the event. Christopher is 14 and he has had dreams of getting into peanut butter. He does just fine with getting over the dream. I think you must alwasys explain the allergy with your child,because for one thing if you don't who will. I think that at the age of 2 he just is starting to understand what different problems are and he will understand,because Christopher did. If I have any kind of disagreement with anyone then I am guaranteed a bad dream that week at some point. You are training your son right now and you must keep it up. I know there are times where I would wonder if I was going to make Christopher a basket case or not. Now at 14 all the things we started at 1and 2 have paid off. Keep up the work because it sounds as if your little guy is getting the point. take care Claire

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