Chronically Parenting – “Mommy, am I going to get sick like you?”

sick too

“Mommy, am I going to get sick like you?” – When my, then 8 year old daughter, looked up at me with fear and confusion in her eyes and asked me that question, my heart just sank. It was the first time I’d realized that my kids might have the fear that they too would develop this rare medical condition that they have watched me suffer through. It’s a validated question and one we have to handle with fragility. Acknowledging their fear is important! Here are a few tips on how to handle this question, which your child will probably inevitably ask if she hasn’t already done so:


  1. Say, “Don’t be silly honey, of course you won’t” – This invalidates their feelings. They do not believe their question is silly and neither should you.
  2. Dismiss or ignore the question – Again, this invalidates them and may cause more anxiety if they feel you are “just not wanting to tell them the truth.”
  3. Tell them they are genetically doomed to get some horrible disease because your entire family seems to be plagued with one horrible condition or another – We don’t want our children living in fear of becoming sick or disabled.


  1. Validate their feelings, “I know that you must be scared of going through what you see me going through.”
  2. Give them assurance with a confident answer, “My medical condition is very rare. It is not something that is passed down from parent to child.”
  3. Educate your child about your medical condition! Knowledge is power! You don’t need to break down the anatomy of the brain or spine but you can use terminology they will comprehend to help them better understand your disease. (My 14 year old has become my biggest advocate and is proud to know so much about this condition!)

4 thoughts on “Chronically Parenting – “Mommy, am I going to get sick like you?””

    1. That’s a tough question too. It’s so hard to explain to kids that you’re not going to get better. I tell my kids “I will always have to live with this condition but I will also always get to have good days and am always thankful for God breathing life into me each and every day” #perspective

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Another aspect of this same topic is that I’m a grandfather, and they see me in my wheelchair, they see me struggling to be strong, they see me go in and out of the hospital. It’s not so much that they’re afraid of getting sick, as they are afraid of losing me. I try to be gentle with them and answer their questions. Whenever I’m with them, I’m with them. They love the way I tease them and tell them jokes. Good blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective Stephen!! You’re absolutely right! It’s scary for our kids/grandkids to see us “unwell”. They fear for us. Keeping a positive attitude and remembering that we are hear to enjoy them is so important. Thanks for sharing!


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