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What to tell young children? What to tell young children?

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Unread 08-17-2004, 12:04 PM
What to tell young children?

I am wondering what any of you with young children or grand children tell them about going in the hospital for surgery.
My 4yr old grand daughter just lost her other grandma last year and associates hospitals with death! So I don't want her to know I am in there or have my daughter bring her there to see me.
We play alot and are very active, parks etc. (granny goes down the slides with her etc.) LOL
What is the best way to explain why you can't play or move around very well without worrying them?

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Unread 08-17-2004, 12:26 PM
Always the truth

Cathy: I have two boys (7yo and 5yo) and I told the the truth about my surgery, that I won't feel anything. I told them that the bag where I kept them while they were in my tummy is hurting very much and the doctor has to take it away. I have always spoken with the truth whatever it is, I feel this makes them feel safe and increases their trust in me. Your case is more sensitive because of the death of the other grandmother, but still, my advice would be to always tell the truth. That way they will see that hospitals are not a pace where you go an die.
I hope this was helpful
Unread 08-17-2004, 01:59 PM
What to tell young children?


My daughter is 2 years old. My parents took her the weekend I had surgery so she would not see me in the hospital. When we both got home I showed her my "boo-boos" and told her I had surgery. I told her that I have to rest a lot now so that we can have a lot of fun later. She seems to understand and likes to lay down with me. It's amazing how much she understands. Don't try to hide things from your granddaughter. I think it's better to be honest and keep it at her level.

Good luck!
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Unread 08-17-2004, 02:29 PM
What to tell young children?


I agree with the others. You should be honest with her. She may be fearful at first, but it could be a very important learning opportunity for her. If she sees you go to the hospital and come out fine, she may not be so scared if she ever needs to go to the hospital. If you hide it from her and then she needs surgery or something, she might be terrified.

Hope this helps,

Unread 08-17-2004, 02:39 PM
What to tell young children?

I agree with the others that you should be as honest as possible. Your granddaughter also needs your good experience to know that just because someone goes to the hospital they aren't going to die. My daughters are 6 and 9 and I just explained that I was going to have the parts inside my tummy that made me hurt and need the heating pad and made me grouchy and feel bad taken out. I also explained that I would be sore and tired for what was going to seem like a REALLY long time but that once I was better we would be glad I had it done. I didn't have my daughters come see me in the hospital after surgery. However, I had to go back in 3 weeks later for an infection and they came to see me that time and thought it was really neat.

My youngest daughter now tells anyone who asks how I am feeling that I am great because the DR. took out my "yucky guts".
Unread 08-17-2004, 03:15 PM
What to tell young children?

I believe lying to a child insults them. I have never lied to mine. When my 3 yr old wanted to know how the new baby got out I showed her my vagina(I was in the tub when she ask)and said he come out there. She did not get any more info than that. I just answered her question. She never ask any more about it and was fine. When I give them medicine and its yucky I tell them. Yes shots hurt...and all of that. I just dont know how I can teach my children not to lie if I am lying to them. With my kids this has worked well. When I told my kids about the surgery my 6 yr old was worried. I told here that when she was in my tummy there was a special "sack" she grew in. That sack has started to fall and it is sick,since I know longer need it the doctor is going to cut my belly open and remove all the sick parts. For me this works. I think if you just tell her the truth.....or as little of the truth(it usually doesnt take the entire truth to get them to understand)as possible she will be ok. I am so sorry she has such a fear of death and hospitals. It really can be tough on the little ones. I hope things go well for you!!!
Unread 08-17-2004, 03:47 PM
What to tell young children?

Thanks all. I appreciate your advice. I wasn't going to lie to her. I just wasn't going to tell her I was going to the hospital, then when I got out I was going to be up and behaving as normal as possible at times when she came over to see me.
Then I could tell her I had an operation and was ok.
Unread 08-17-2004, 04:59 PM
What to tell young children?

Cathy, I can understand your not wanting to upset her. She is still very young and bless her heart that she associates hospitals w/losing her other Grandma.

I am looking at it from the other perspective I guess....you have an opportunity to show her that loved ones can go to the hospital to be healed and go home and heal and be better!

This might be a good learning experience for her. Of course only you and her mother know what is best for her. I'm sure whatever you decide will be in her best interest, bless her heart. Best of luck to you!
Unread 08-17-2004, 09:15 PM
What to tell young children?

thanks Rebz, It looks like your surgery date is the same as mine. Good luck and may God be with you for a speedy recovery.
My grand daughter did see her mother in the hospital last February after giving birth to her new baby sister. We could tell the IV and all worried her on her Mom. I use to "sneak" her into intensive care to see her other grandma. It Made both of them feel better. She still misses her alot. I just didn't want her to worry about something happening to me.. I have prayed that God will let me live a long life so that precious girl won't have to go through that again anytime in the near future.
I appreciate everyone's advice on this and I am teaching her that people go to the hospital to get help when they are sick. Her other Grandma would get out of the hospital and go home fairly quickly. She had her final heart failure at home.
I was just wondering what others have told children so I can do the best thing.

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