Attention

My daughter now almost 9 has been open and talked about her dad's illness from the beginning. More so now though. She does see counselors and a group also. Which I think helps. She most recently has become glued to her dad, constantly on him. Normal I think. But she tells me she's afraid all the time he's going to die and how will life be then? She also pretty much takes her anger out on me. Daily. Which we are working on. But here lately she has been telling us both that she feels like things are always about Ben. I feel bad. I know it's true. I have here and there done things with her. I try to do more...we used to go and now we don't. So doing things around the house more. I hope with the warmer weather we will get back to bike riding but anyways...in between the preteen angst and all the worries how do I make sure she knows how important she is to me/us? Being an only child she is used to having my undivided attention and now I am more focused on Ben. But with time I'm learning how to deal with it all more. For now until something else changes. :) I feel pulled in so many directions.

Comments

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  • Well I'm not a parent so I really have no idea, but maybe you could try asking to her to help you do some things for Ben sometimes- like bake something special or some activity to maybe cheer him up. Nothing that would be hard on her or make her worry, but something that would let her feel an important part of things and be an activity you two could do together. I guess a lot depends on her- my mom was very sick (the docs never figured out what it was, and eventually she got better) when my sister was around that age I think, and I think it made my sister feel better to help out by bringing soup or a cold wash cloth for her head or something to drink or trying to entertain my mom. I however was younger and didn't have that personality- I don't think I had any idea what was going on and didn't care if I was left on my own :) Or on the flip side do activities with her that cheer you up! And when she helps out make sure to thank her lots and tell her how important she is- well tell her how important she is even if she doesn't help ;) It sounds like you are already doing so much for your family, I hope everything works out for the best!
  • As a wife and mother, I'm certain you're exhausted trying to meet everone's needs. It's a great thing that your daughter is going to counseling to help her work through some of this. It's hard to know how much is pre-teen angst and how much is stress about her father, but even though she's so young, she's dealing with a lot of the same emotions you are. Only she doesn't have the emotional maturity to work through it. She vents her frustration to you because she knows its safe. I do the same thing to my husband.
    I think mishanne is right that you could have her help with activities for her dad. You may also try taking her to do something with just the two of you (shopping, take a walk, whatever you enjoy doing together). You certainly can't "fix" this for her, but try doing little things here and there. I teach teenagers, so I'll be the first to warn you that it may seem thankless at the time, but those little things do mean a lot to them, even if they don't show it.
  • thank you both. I totally agree with what you are saying. It's so strange how we will be just sitting there...like lastnight and she just finds a minute to open up and she was talking to me about it all. She just said how scared she was because she is told to go when something happens and she wants to help. And in my mind I'm telling her to stay out so she doesn't see what I have to see. And basically to protect her. It's hard to keep a straight mind frame when you husband is laying on the bathroom floor bleeding and unconscious. It's like seconds are going by slowly and I have to react without losing my mind. It is very difficult to stop and think how is she feelign right now. I just want her to not see it at all. I'm not going to be able to keep her from this. As much as I'd like to. So much has already happened. And while things are better today. We never know what tomorrow will bring and that has never meant more to me than now. Going to make an effort even when I feel like she hates me. I am never going to give up. This is the only family I have...and I have to keep it together for as long as I have the power to. :)