Regardless of how you answered that question, it is a fact that many parents with children with allergies treat their children as disabled. We think they cannot do for themselves. We feel the need to protect them. We demand that others accommodate their disability.
It’s interesting, isn’t it? We live in an era when we replace the words: “handicap” with “physically challenged” and “retarded” with “differently-abled”. We live in a time of heighted sensitivity of the power of words and outlook in determining our ultimate wellness and health.
Yet… when it comes to our children’s allergies, we treat our children as disabled- in every negative sense of the word- and continually remind them of their limitations. We focus on the fact that they must always remind everyone around them of their allergies. We focus on the fact they must never forget themselves that they have allergies.
Don’t get me wrong. Allergies need to be managed. They pose a risk. A person who is blind or deaf needs to learn not to walk into traffic they many not otherwise see or hear. A person who has allergies needs to stay away from certain foods. And it is true that a person with allergies faces greater risks in life than a person who has no health challenges.
If the focus of your interaction with your child is their allergies, if you or your child have anxiety due to allergies… you are handling it poorly. We are not justified in sharing our feelings of anxiety at the expense of the emotional well being of our children.
Clearly, I am not a psychologist, as I will say that feelings can be wrong and bad and lead us potentially to unwise choices in life. Control them and stop wearing them on your sleeve.
It doesn’t matter how scared or worried you are… stop treating children who have allergies as disabled. Get a hold of your emotions and act fearless, brave and with strength. Eventually your feelings will catch up. And instead of raising a child who is fearful and disabled, you will raise an adult who is fearless and capable.