Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Caring for A Sick Child

There are many powerful acts of love and service. These acts force us into uncomfortable and inconvenient situations. However, it’s not usually the inconvenience that we recognize. The understanding that what we’re doing is important and helping someone else moves us beyond ourselves. This is never more clear than in helping to care for a sick child.

Kids get sick. When a child is sick, the child lacks the basic understanding of what the illness is. They don’t have years of experience with illness, and so they’re more upset. They lead simple, uncomplicated lives, and this sickness is interrupting everything. This is where, as a parent, you can really show them love and model a life of service. By tenderly caring for their needs and making them as comfortable as possible, you can wrap them in a mantle of love. You can help them feel better emotionally and ease their worries. This love will help to lower stress and facilitate the healing process.

Illness turns a child’s world upside down. Everything that they thought they knew, everything that they experienced is no longer true. They’re miserable and they don’t yet know the little hacks that can help make the path to recovery much shorter. For example, a sick 1 year old doesn’t yet know that blowing their nose can clear some congestion. This is a time for you to really guide your child. As a parent, you possess an immense amount of real-world knowledge that they don’t have. This is the time to use that knowledge to help them understand that this is only temporary and they’ll be up and playing very soon.

Illness in your child’s life is a great chance for you to love and care for them. Cleaning up after them, helping them with even basic functions, and easing their burdens is what true love demands. If they’re older, this level of service can be a pleasant reminder of a time in their lives when they were younger.

There’s also a measure of deeper personal sacrifice for the parents. In order to care for the child, one or both parents might have to give up vacation days. Those hard-earned days are meant to be spent in restful relaxation. Instead, they sometimes are used to care for a sick child at home. Yet, therein lies the beauty of sacrifice. Parents would rather use those days being home caring for a sick child than at the beach on vacation.

Caring for a sick child requires a parent’s great love. It’s just the scenario that the graces of parenthood prepare every adult for.