If your child has to go through an elective surgery for some reason, it is most probable that a date has already been set. An elective surgery is different from an emergency surgery which is an immediate matter of life and death. Having an elective surgery gives you time to prepare your baby and yourself for the surgery – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Children respond directly to how the parents are reacting to surgery. Here are a few ways in which you can prepare yourself and your child better for the surgery.
1. Seek for Information:
Now that you have decided that your child should have a surgery, educate yourself about it. Familiarize yourself with the procedure. Ask the surgeon for information and resources that are recommended for children and parents about the procedure. Ask for brochures or booklets. Find out what is happening and why. This will answer many doubts that you may have regarding the surgery.
2. Take a tour:
Ask your child’s surgeon if it possible to have a pre-operative tour of the family. It gives you the chance to learn about what to expect and what to do on the day of surgery. What all things you will need to bring and what all facilities are provided to you. You can bring your child along with you too if he or she is a little older. You can make your baby meet the staff that is going to take care of him or her. This will reduce their anxiety as they become familiar with the place and people.
3. Make a list of questions:
Having questions and doubts and worries regarding the surgery is as natural as it gets. Do not hesitate to ask for answers to your queries. In fact, before every meeting with your child’s doctor, make a list of all the questions that have been bothering you. Upon your meeting make sure that you ask the doctor all the question and that he or she satisfies you with their explanations. When you know better, you can answer the queries your child may have to perfection and keep them calm about the surgery.
4. Be emotionally honest:
Kids do best when you are honest with them. It is okay to be fearful, doubtful, sad about the whole thing. Do not expel your emotions in front of your child, rather let them know that you are worried about them too and show them how you are preparing yourself for the situation. It will help them to know that their worries or other feelings are not alien but mutual, and it is going to help them face challenges that come along the way.
5. Take care of yourself:
Preparing a child for a surgery is not an easy task. Do not let it consume you completely. Take a little time for yourself every day. Do something that releases your stress. Talk to someone for support. Also, as there is no perfect person, there is no perfect parent. We can only grow as individuals by experiences. Know that whatever you have done for your child is truly great and your child too sees and appreciates your effort. Only when you are healthy, emotionally and physically, you can prepare your child for the surgery.