Answering your Child's Questions

Most parents of limb-deficient children worry about their child’s first question about their disability and often find the question, when it comes, isn’t as bad as they expected. Try not to read your own feelings and doubts into your child’s questions. If your young child asks why they don’t have a hand, they want an answer and a simple one. The simple truth is that they were born without a hand. Do not assume that they are worried, as you might be, about the reason. Don’t worry if your child doesn’t ask questions - they may not feel the need to. By being open about the whole issue, you will show that you are ready for questions. On the other hand, brothers or sisters may be full of questions and need extra attention. By encouraging your child to express feelings and by accepting them, you can help the child to handle them. For example, if your child says "Wish my leg wasn’t like this!", let them know that you understand this wish. Avoid, at all costs, saying something like "You shouldn’t feel that way" or "You’re lucky it’s not worse". It does not help to say how they should feel. Feelings are our own, and the child should not have to feel guilty for being human.

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