Getting diagnosed with fibromyalgia and other chronic conditions can make your regular daily activities of living very difficult. It can be extra difficult explaining these limitations our loved ones, and even more difficult to explain fibromyalgia to a child. Our kids are going to want to know, “What’s wrong with Mommy?” and “Why can’t daddy play catch with me?”
Well, the good news is, you’re not alone. There are lots of parents going through this exact thing, and there are lots of resources out there for parents with chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia. We took a look at books that explain a parent’s chronic illness to children. Some of the books are specifically for people with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, while others are for more general illnesses.
Whichever you choose, your kids are sure to enjoy reading them, and they may help you explain to them what’s going on with you, and how they can help. And that’s a good thing.
1. Why Does Mommy Hurt? by Elizabeth M. Christy
Why Does Mommy Hurt? is narrated by a little boy who is learning to understand and cope with his mom’s chronic illness. Neurologist Dr. Kent Smalley says, “This book helps open up communication about some of the most common problems for those with a chronically ill parent-child relationship, including fatigue, forgetfulness, and frustration.” Also, portions of the proceeds are donated to the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA).
2. Ravyn’s Doll by Melissa Swanson
Melissa Swanson says she wrote Ravyn’s Doll after being diagnosed when her daughter was 9 years old. “I found myself always apologizing and explaining why I could not do things that I used to do. I work in a school district with elementary and middle school children. The kiddo’s (sic) have asked why I sometimes wear dark sunglasses, wear a tens unit, use ice packs/heating pads or move very slow and wince in pain. I find myself explaining not only to the students but to adults that I encounter.”
3. How Many Marbles do you Have? by Melinda Malott
How Many Marbles do you Have? by Melinda Malott is another great book for explaining fibromyalgia to a child. She says, about writing the book, “I have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a Master’s degree in community health education, but my formal education did not prepare me to explain something as complex as CFS and fibromyalgia to young children. I decided rather than try to explain something I couldn’t understand that it was best to try to help my children understand my limitations.”
4. Mommy Has to Stay in Bed by Annette Rivlin-Gutman
Mommy Has To Stay In Bed is not specifically about fibromyalgia, but it can still be useful for explaining the limitations of a chronic illness to a child. The author, Annette Rivlin-Gutman was placed on bed rest during her 2nd pregnancy and was struggling to explain that to her 18 month-old daughter. So she wrote this book, because, “While on bed rest, […] she explained what was taking place to her daughter, but also recognized that it would have been helpful to have a related, illustrated and easy-to-understand children’s book.”
5. What Does Super Jonny Do When Mom Gets Sick? by Simone Colwill
Another book that is not specifically about fibromyalgia, but is nonetheless good for explaining illness and hospitals to children. Simone Colwill wrote What Does Super Jonny Do When Mom Gets Sick? when she developed Chrone’s Disease and started spending lots of time in the hospital. If you find yourself visiting the hospital often, this book could be for you.
6. Mommy Can’t Dance by Katie Carone
As anyone with a chronic illness like fibro will tell you, one of the toughest things to deal with is not being able to do things that you really used to enjoy doing. As Conscious Crafties writes, “It can be sad and confusing for both kids and moms when a mother is hurt or sick and can’t do all the things she used to. This simple and sweet book helps children understand limitations. It shares ideas on how kids can help, as well as activities a mom and child can still do together.”
The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional info, please visit their website.
3 thoughts on “Explaining Chronic Illness to Children”
What an amazing list! I don’t have children but do sometimes wonder how I would ever explain chronic illness to a child if I needed too. xxx
Great list! Thank you for sharing 😊
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You’re welcome – thanks for stopping by! 😀