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Over 200 top tips and words of advice, to help you really get the most from the time you spend with your kids
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Searched for: 10/23/2021 - Found: 7/30/2008 to 8/5/2008
Cautionary Tales For Children
Wonderful witty poems great for reading to your children. The stories and rhymes will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Research has shown how important YOU are to your children and how as a dad the things you do, and keep on doing, really count, whether you live with them, or you are a single dad and are only able see them once a month, once a week or more, what you do really matters. This site is dedicated to all dads but will be of special relevance to the single dad. Remember, you are half the reason your children exist and they need you whether you live with them or not. As their dad, you have what it takes to make their lives successful and fulfilling no matter how often you see them. This site is about all the positive things that we as parents have to offer our children.
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Caring for a sick child

By Chris Barnardo

Caring for a sick child is never easy, but if you are divorced or separated then what was already tough is made much worse by the situation. If there is normally tension between you and your ex-partner, the additional stress and level of the cooperation needed to share the care of your child during an illness can certainly test even the most robust arrangements. At times like these, different views about exactly what is in your childís best interest can lead to rows and upsets which are very clearly not beneficial to anyone, least of all the child.
. . . When a child is ill they need to be cared for and feel safe and secure so that they can get better as quickly as possible, or in cases of chronic illness, so that they feel mentally strong enough manage their condition in the best way possible. For a child, part of feeling secure is knowing that all your routines are safe and sound and that the people round you who are caring for you are calm, capable and in control.
. . . Sooner or later every child gets ill. Most childrenís illnesses pass quickly enough, but whether they are over in a week or last for months, the advice for dealing with them as a separated parent is pretty much the same for both parents. So here are some useful tips to helping you cope with your childrenís illness, whether they live with you or just come to visit and stay with you.

  1. Share parenting of a sick child
    When your child gets ill, your first parenting instinct is to nurse them back to health yourself. Itís natural to think that no one else can do it quite the way you do. However, in most cases unless specialist care is required, an ill child can lie on the sofa or be tucked up in bed at either parentís house as they convalesce. So, if your child is ill, donít change access arrangements, because the stress of missing out on routines can make your child feel worse and even prolong the recovery. If the child can be moved, stick to all agreed access arrangements.

  2. Allow access
    If your child is too ill to be moved, thatís not a good reason to prevent them from seeing their other parent. If they are too ill go to their other parentís house, then make arrangements for their other parent to come and visit them.

  3. Share care to cover work commitments
    Part of being there for your children is caring for them when they are sick. If your child is ill enough to be off school and you and your ex-partner both work, however inconvenient it is, someone is going to have to take time off work or make special childcare arrangements to cover the illness. Where possible offer to take time of work to help out with looking after your child to avoid them having to be looked after by someone else or avoid your ex-partner having to take the whole of the time off work.

  4. Make sure the care routine is written down
    When a child goes from home to home it is very easy for care instructions to be misunderstood or confused. Handovers can be tense times and often neither party is able to fully concentrate on what is being said by the other. The simplest route is to write down the care instructions and give them to your ex-partner rather than trying to give a long list of instructions verbally.
    . . . If you have to go to the doctorís take a sheet of paper and a pen or ask them for some, so that you can write down what the doctor is saying so that later you can remember it and you wonít forget to tell your ex-partner any important bits of information about the illness or the care your child needs.

  5. Keep a written record of medicines
    To avoid missing a dose or giving too much, make and keep a simple chart of the medications so that you can keep track of your childís medicines as they go from house to house.

  6. Donít take risks, follow the rules
    Whatever your feelings are towards your ex-partner, listen carefully to their explanations of the care regime for your child when you pick them up, and when they are in your care, adhere to them. When your child is ill he or she may need to take medications, or rest in bed which will probably interfere with your plans or routines, however, this is not the time to assert your independence by ignoring instructions or taking risks with your childís health.

  7. Work together with your ex-partner to overcome the illness quickly and safely
    If your child is ill, put any disagreements you have with your ex-partner on hold for the duration of the illness. Your child needs you, and needs you to be focussed on helping them get better. Use the illness as a good opportunity to develop a businesslike, working relationship with your ex-partner over the important aspects of care for your child.

  8. Explain the illness and the medication to your child
    When a child goes from home to home it is important that they understand their medication and how their illness is being managed. Donít explain difficult concepts to them and expect them to explain them to their other parent, you need to take that responsibility, but do explain whatís happening to them in terms that they understand. It helps a patient of any age if they know what medicines they are taking and why they are taking them, and how they can help themselves to get better more quickly.

  9. Remember to take care of your other children
    If you have more than one child, then being a single parent puts huge pressure on you when one of your children is ill. When one of your children is ill it is easy to focus all your attention on the ill child and ignore the needs of their siblings. If the illness is acute, then this is understandable and acceptable, but if it is a chronic illness you need to make an extra effort with your other children to make sure that their needs donít get sidelined. This is especially difficult if you are a single parent, because you cannot automatically share the attention with your ex-partner.
    . . . For illnesses that last longer than a week, get friends and family to help out, work with your ex-partner to find ways of sharing the care of your other children, considering the welfare of your other children as just as important as that of the sick child. Explain the illness to them and tell them how you are managing it. They are part of the family unit and a valuable part of your team.

  10. Provide home comforts
    When you are ill there is nothing better than being looked after properly. If your child has to stay in bed, make a bed up on the sofa with their favourite teddy and duvet or covers from their bed. If you are able to work from home, move your computer to be near them and make them their favourite (nutritious) food. Research has shown that being lovingly looked after really does speed up recovery, and your own childhood experience will tell you that being looked after when youíre ill is something that you never forget and something that makes you feel special and loved. More than anything, spend time with them and help them through their illness by being there for them when they need you.


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