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Advice from the Experts

There is no one more qualified to give advice on the subject of parenting with arthritis then parents with arthritis.

Do you have any tips to share with other parents? And you responded:

"It's kinda like take it oneday at a time kinda of thing:) It's very often you may wake feeling great but by ends day you are exhusted (literally)I have found that since all my kids are in school once they head out the door I usually go back to bed because I have insomnia at night. Let me tell you that extra rest alot of times boosts me right up like the energizer bunny then I can get my afternoon workdone. It's not always easy to say well I'll do this and that today cuz with arthritis sometimes it never works like that so just go at your own pace:) And having this disease for as long as I have I tend to get mad at (it) and that's ok...." -Teena

"I know I wouldn't trade anything in the world for her. She is the best thing that ever has happened. She is worth any pain I have." -Bridget

"Give your children/child little responsibilities that you have hard time doing. It has to be age appropriate. This gives them a little power over the disease that's hurting their parent." -Beth

"I try not to think about past failures, and I take things one day at a time. If it weren't for my faith in Christ Jesus I wouldn't have made it at all. "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me"." -Beth

"I have been very open with my children. I have explained to them the biological process of arthritis, and the role the immune system plays; all that. I tell them that everyone has their burden and as far as medical burdens go this is not so bad. I talk to them about how lucky I am to have arthritis now instead of fifty years ago because of all the medical advancements in treatment. I try to put a positive light on it. It is a fact of our lives, but not THE fact. There are a lot of kind of odd things about our family and this is just one of them.

I think it is important to be honest with kids about medical things. My father had cancer when I was a teenager and he unequivocably promised me he would not die, but he did. I was pissed for years. It's also important for kids to realize every family has their strengths and weaknesses and those aren't always apparent. Therefore, we should try hard not to compare ourselves to other people. We accept what we have to deal with and move on." -Maria

"Learn to hold most conversatons while resting. Tell them everything that is happening with your RA., otherwise they they will think your medical problems are even worse. Let them help you when you are not feeling well. Apologize for yelling at them if it is because you do not feel well." -Barbara

"Do what you can, never allow others to put their expectations on you, know your limitations and educate yourself about your disease "Knowledge is Power"." -Stephanie

"Just enjoy your children while they are young and enjoy them everyday that you have them because one day they will be taken away." -Pam

"Depending on the ages of your children, be frank with them. Tell them exactly how you feel, even though you may want to spare them what you are going through. They will appreciate knowing that if you aren't able to do something, it's because you can't, not because you don't want to.

This is a family disease, in that it affects everyone in your family, not just you. At first, I didn't understand that, and I thought it was something I could handle by myself, and not inconvenience anyone else. I have found out over the past 17 months that everyone I love is affected by my RA. They are so understanding about the fact that I can't go sit on the bleachers for hours, or I can't go for long walks, like we used to, and shopping at the mall is something that takes a lot of planning and conserving energy for. But all in all, I don't think it has interfered too much with our lives (yet)." -Lynn

"Try to give as much time as you can to your children. When they leave home they will not remember how often you mopped a floor but they will remember the times you spent with them. And be honest with your children. Tell them you have an illness that will prevent you from doing some things but that with cooperation and some modification there will be other things the family can still enjoy. Ask them to help when you need it and praise their efforts.

Arthritis and the way you react to the different situations you encounter gives you a chance to teach your children coping skills that can be of great value to them in all phases of their lives. Sort of a "When life gives you a lemon, make lemon-aid" attitude." -Diane2

"Early in the morning is when I have the most energy. I try to make lists and organize my day. That way later on when I'm tired and my kids are cranky,I have time to just sit with them. I go to bed pretty early because I just am too tired to get anything done in the evening." -S.

"Don't sweat the small stuff!" -Tina

Share your parenting advice.