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Calling parents

RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 2,003
edited June 2018 in Day to day
What can / could/ do our kids do to help as we go through breast cancer treatment ? I think they may need guidance about what they could do to help and it may overcome a sense of powerlessness some of them may feel.


  • poodlejulespoodlejules Member Posts: 346
    Depending on their ages really. My young adult kids all still at home helped out with the housework , cooked and heated up prepared meals. They came to visit me in hospital on my chemo days or drove me in if they were able to. Even the little things like sitting down and watching a movie with me was lovely. I was also told they could access Canteen ( cancer support group ) up until they were 25 if they needed it but we'd talked about things as a family and they didn't but its good to know its there if they do want to talk to someone.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,898
    I have asked my 18yo son repeatedly to sit and watch a movie with me, to no avail. I demanded he go for a walk with me and his sister yesterday. He did and it was really nice. It was the most time I'd spent with him in months.

    He's a lovely boy in so many ways. I've had lots of hugs, but he's doing VCE, experiencing love dramas and is so all up in his own head like teenagers often are. I wish he'd cared more and expressed it to me but I don't know how to make that happen.

    As a parent I am conflicted between sharing with my kids what I'm going through and protecting them from it. It's rather more challenging when it comes to the youngest two as their mother died from it two years ago this month.

    We are a loving family, and we demonstrate it. How much is nature and how much is nurture? That I feel my kids have let me down a bit from time to time, or all the time, makes me feel like a failure.
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 2,003

    @kmakm it’s not a failure -sure there maybe times when we feel let down by our kids but then it’s up to us to sit them down and explain why -preferably when the dust settles when we get a better hearing than a slanging match in the heat of the moment - the latter of which I have been guilty of .But what I find is when you say things in anger  in a  family  you talk about it later and they forgive and move on.Whilst change of behaviour may not be as quick as I’d like - it is thought about and changes occur - but only if I verbalise  rather than seeth and do it myself.I guess that’s parenting.

    I think kids of all ages need to understand a little of what’s happening to us and how they can help . They experience shock to realise we are fallible and the turmoil of emotions we go through they see and they just don’t know what to do.
  • RomlaRomla AdelaideMember Posts: 2,003
    I found a Canadian book that is written for primary school kids called the Kids Guide to Mommy’s Breast Cancer - hope it helps someone with kids this age group

  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,898
    A beautiful thoughtful post @Sister, thank you.

    To be fair, the kids have mostly done the extra things they've been asked to without too much arguing. My 15yo daughter has been the star, she's done the most, and with the least fuss. The 18yo son stepped up in the crisis moments, when I was fully incapacitated. Otherwise it's been repeated arguing and delaying on the task... I don't think I've asked my niece (10) and nephew (12) to do anything extra. I've been trying to shield them.

    However this afternoon I am going to draw up a chores roster to go on the fridge. My husband and I have been talking about this and it's time to put it into action. My new normal has to include more time for me, and I need to teach the kids to become responsible contibuting young adults. Let's face it, it'll be a long time before any of them move out and I'm sure as heck not running round cleaning up after young adults unless they're doing the same for me!
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,588
    I think it's really important - they won't like it though and it won't mean you get to stop nagging but...  If it's any help, this is what ours looks like with 3 kids and this has been in place for a couple of years so the youngest was 10 at the time.  These are the expectations - they do other things as they crop up and like you, my eldest daughter is the star with doing things intuitively (though she can still dig her heels in when she's in a mood)
    Daily chores - these cycle round, 1 responsibility each on a daily basis
    1. Dishes (includes empty & stack dishwasher in the morning and dry and put away other dishes at night)
    2. Take kitchen rubbish out at night and if it's rubbish night, the whole lot.
    3. Take recycling out at night.  Feed cat.
    Weekly chores - these cycle round on a weekly basis and have to be done by a reasonable time on the weekend so it also means they have to take responsibility for organising when it's going to be done so that it fits in with other activities
    1. Vacuum living areas
    2. Vacuum and mop hard floors
    3. Clean bathrooms

    They are also responsible for their own bedrooms and the two older ones have to iron their own school shirts.

    With the weekly chores, I wrote down what needed to be done and the kids made the decision on how it would be divided - we trialled it first for 3 weeks, then tweaked it a bit.  They decided that even thought the hard floors was a big job, they preferred to divvy it up that way so they have a big job one weekend and an easy go the other times.  It's not always up to the standard I would like, but unless it's really obvious that someone is slacking off, I let it go.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,898
    Brilliant! Thank you @Sister, I'll have this in front of me when I work on mine.
  • Kiwi AngelKiwi Angel Sydney, NSWMember Posts: 1,951
    @kmakm I had chores from quite a young age and as much as I hated it then it did teach me a sense of responsibility. I always had to do the dishes after dinner, make the hot drinks and peel the veggies from when I was in high school. I had to do some dusting and vacuuming and as I got older I did the lawns - first with the old push mower and then later with the motor mower. I did get a small amount of pocket money for this but I also did start working in the school holidays from the age of 14. All this made me quite independent even though I did absolutely hate and resent it at the time. 
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,971
    Funny isn't it. I'm happy enough with a 60 second phone call, but then I loathe having people around me when I'm unwell. I'm like a sick old dog who wants to crawl under the bed where no one can get to me. I don't want help or company or anyone fiddling around in the house. Assistance with lawns is acceptable, blowing the leaves off the verandah, that sort of stuff, particularly if I didn't ask.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,898
    @Kiwi Angel I did too. Something my mother has forgotten as she criticises me when we get the kids to do things.

    My kids are required to do a bit, but I'm hoping that formalising it on a roster will stop much of the arguing, which I find utterly exhausting. They'll get used to it.
  • Kiwi AngelKiwi Angel Sydney, NSWMember Posts: 1,951
    @kmakm it seems to be a Mother’s job to criticise  :|
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,588
    It won't stop the whinging but there will be less to argue against.
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