Nothing is more boring than being a child who is ill unless it is being that bored child’s mother or father. I’m taking this comment and article from the book “Your Growing Child” by Penelope Leach. I am a big fan of this lady after reading her book “Your Baby and Child”.

After my daughter was born, and for me knowing hardly anyone.. in.a town….no family near by, where could I turn to for help and advice? Well, I think the best place for me was reading and the best “manual for a mum” I could find was this particular book – fantastic and would definately recommend you either get it from the library (you could perhaps order it on line through the library or get it second hand) but it is definately well worth the read “Your Growing Child”. Both mums and dads should read this book

So getting back to the article she writes about an ill child she mentions, “She” in the following article applies to both “he” and “she”

If the illness is brief, a very bad cold perhaps,  you can help keep her happy and stay sane yourself if you resign yourself to a couple of days of reading aloud, board games or whatever the current passion may be. But if she is likely to be ill for much longer, measles perhaps, it is worth getting organised.

For your own sake cancel any engagements/work plans that are coming up. The more it matters to you that she should be well enough to go to her sitter/school by next Wednesday, the more the intervening days will drag. Try to think of things that will amuse you (or at least give you a sense of accomplishment) and amuse her too. She may enjoy you practicing the guitar or yoga, but she will not enjoy your reading or talking endlessly on the phone. Some mums de-clutter, or redecorate rooms whils companioning sick children. If most of your usual adult company is at your workplace, try to arrange a few visits from friends, too, so that you remember there is an adult world out there.

Here are some “Hot Tips” to help you both get through….

A “Being-ill” Box  This is a Treasure Trove brought out whenever (but only when the child is ill. She is allowed to know that it exists, but she never knows (unless she is ill three times in as many weeks in which case she may catch you out) exactly what is in it. If you are clever, such a box can become appropriate when a child is around eighteen months and stay much loved until she is old enough to occupy herself with a new library book. Obviously the box can contain anything you (or your child) like but it should contain a large number of items (so that just looking through it takes pleasant time) of sufficient variety that at least a few are likely to take her fancy at that particular moment. The items don’t all need to be new,

  • What should you put in the box?
  • The second and identical colouring book she received for her birthday.
  • Fairground/crackerjack junk the family has acquired..the cardboard doll that gave her pleasure at the time…pretty wrapping paper she can cutout, little boxes, jars
  • the Sunday suppliment full of photos of cars / horses
  • Spice the collection with small items which you buy when it catches your eye, pencils, miniture playing cards etc
  • if you want to make it more elaborate, buy wholesale “tiny toys” – look on ebay on wholesale or 1p penny buys

If you do run a box like this, make sure you try to remember to sort it out after each bout of illness because otherwise it will become an unattractive jumble next time it is wanted. Remember to keep it stocked too, preferably by adding bits and pieces to it during the summer months when (hopefully) it is little used.

The above applies to younger children….when I get time, Ill blog on what to do for the older ill child.

Any suggestions for items to add to the box?








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