5 Things to Do When Your Child Has Alopecia
You know your child better than anyone else! And your child is a sponge to its environment: quite literally and figuratively.
We all want the best for our children and we want them to never have to go through any hardships, but many times, its the resilience that makes them stronger, its the comeback that allows them to shine brighter and its also the overcoming challenges that sets them up for mental toughness and long term success. Just like going through chickenpox as a kid, (yes I remember this), my immune system is now a lot stronger because of it.
I am a huge advocate in including children into the cooking, cleaning, and other duties of the household. Especially in the kitchen though, because this way, children can learn what's truly healthy. Learning cooking skills and having a bigger appreciation for their health, body, and good food will create better habits for life. Knowledge is key to future success to future healthy body image, to future healthy habits, to future healthy decisions.
Did you know that tastebuds change? Let's say your child has been addicted to sugar and sweets, this can all change and their cravings can also change once you stop giving them the sweets and sugar for at least 30 days. Tastebuds themselves take anywhere from 10-14 days but habits can change in 21 days and the "need" or craving can go away by day 30. This is great news, because we can always retrain our likes and dislikes. We can retrain our tastebuds and our habits!
Explain Alopecia and Get Them Involved
If your child is old enough and you are able to explain to them what alopecia is, and how the new changes in diet and lifestyle will help them with their health and hair, perhaps they will be less likely, less tempted to eat the birthday cake at a friends party, or the pizza that their local sports team/activities group ordered. Their participation is required in order to make participation in the Alopecia Angel Program more effective without hindering their current status. Perhaps showing them success stories can help motivate them!
I understand healing alopecia, making diet and lifestyle changes take discipline and patience, and with a child going through it, it can be just as challenging if not more, but perhaps in speaking to them, having them understand the new boundaries for food- for their health, they will be more of a "helper" than not. Children love to help, to participate and to be included. Acknowledge their growth and maturity by helping them, help you, with a partnership in healing alopecia. Include parents and other siblings so that your one child doesn't feel left out of eating spaghetti, rather, everyone eats the same zucchini noodles instead. Changing diets and patterns is not only healthy for one, but also for all.
Instill positivity into their life
A positive mindset is the corner stone to success. Turn negative thinking or situations and discuss positive possibilities and outcomes. Look at the bright side always, if you do, they do too! They follow your lead. Speak positivity into their life by sharing with each other 5 things they are grateful for and 5 things you are grateful for. I do this daily with friends, relatives, and my spouse. Its nice to hear why someone is grateful especially if they are included in the list ! Instill positivity by helping them know that there are valleys and peaks throughout life, and that sometimes problems come, but they also get fixed. Nothing is forever, and alopecia is the same. They can heal and get better.
Your emotions as the parent(s) are visible. You can feel vibes. Children are extremely perceptive. The more relaxed and calm you are the better it is for them and the household. Ensure self care and ensure you are getting your sleep! Continue to eat right and use this time to again teach and involve your child (if old enough) into why stress isn't always so healthy. I would include more activities together, less TV and technology. Go for a bike ride together, pack a picnic, visit a national park or museum together. Spending time creates bonds and new learnings and relaxes you. Other options include cooking classes, yoga classes or even gardening together.
Parents: take time for you, stress less by doing some meditation, breathing techniques and many more options and suggestions in my book.
Overcoming challenges in life isn't easy, but it's a necessary skill and muscle that we need throughout life. We need to learn to problem solve, to not take things personally, but rather see things objectively and take steps and measures to learn the lesson, solve the problem and keep moving forward. That's exactly what ND42 Camps teach. They host camps all over the USA and Canada going to communities & schools to train and teach mental toughness. If you don't push yourself, you cannot ever see how close you can get to accomplishing that goal, that dream, that idea. Banish limiting beliefs. Mixing in technical skills, with physical activities, ND42 Camps excels at bringing out the best in children (and adults) , and allows them to grow and expand in a safe environment.
ND42 hosts camps for 7 years and older, including adults too! Contact them directly for more info or how to join/get a camp in your town or country.
Alopecia for me was a true wake up call. I am grateful for having gone through it because now with all the lessons and learnings, I can ensure my family and those around me have the information they need to also upgrade their health and households. You can too! It's all possible and all in my book and program.