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what to tell my young children? what to tell my young children?

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Unread 06-13-2001, 07:06 PM
what to tell my young children?

Seems like I can't stop asking questions! Like Jim Carey said, "Somebody stop me!" (I think he's the one that said that!?)

But anyway, back to the question at hand. I have two young boys, ages 5 and 7. I haven't told them that I'll be going to the hospital on Monday. Haven't quite figured out the best approach to the subject yet. Any suggestions out there? My 7 year old is very smart, and asks LOTS of questions about things.

Thanks again girls!
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Unread 06-13-2001, 07:18 PM
what to tell my young children?

Hi nikki!

My daughter is five, and also too smart! My surgery was on a Monday, and on Sunday afternoon I sat down with her and told her that I had to go see the doctor to get something fixed in my tummy. She would get to sleep at grandma's and have a great adventure. I would have to stay at the hospital for a few days, but she could call me whenever she wanted, and I would be home very soon and then she and I would read together, and rest, and play on the bed while I healed.

No gory details, no big explanations. It was the right thing for her. You know your kids better than anyone, so you will know what will work for them and what might upset them...every child is different!

I didn't want my daughter to come to the hospital...figured it would be too upsetting for her to see me so weak and in pain (I thought), and too hard for her to leave me there. It worked out fine...we spoke on the phone several time a day and at bedtime I read to her over the phone.

Keep it simple and honest, and give them only what you think they need to hear. They'll be ok....(it's harder on us!! )

Hang in there!!

Unread 06-13-2001, 07:32 PM
what to tell my young children?

Hi Nikki,

I agree, every child is different and you know better than anyone else what your boys can handle and understand.

I have two daughters ages 10 and 7. With the 10 year old I was afraid to go into too much detail because she is getting at the stage in her life when she will start having a cycle of her own and I didn't want to frighten her. So I explained the minor details to her and we talked for a while. The 7 year old doesn't have a clue about this stuff yet and really doesn't want to be involved in details of any sort. However, she had a really hard time when I was in the hospital. They were still in school and she was crying at school and not doing very well. I kind of wish I could have taken her out for a couple of days just to spend the time with her Dad. They both came to see me while I was in the hospital (didn't spend a lot of time but at least came to make sure that I was ok). Their Dad would bring them and then my in-laws would come to pick them up and spend some "special time" with them until my dh left me in the evening.

My situation is sort of different since you have the boys, but I really think that letting them come in to see you and make sure that you are ok is important!

Best of luck to you and I know that you will handle it well and your boys will be thrilled to see you and give you lots of hugs and kisses when you return to them. (Just remember, don't pick them up, make them climb up to you!)

Take care,
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Unread 06-13-2001, 09:18 PM
what to tell my young children?

Nikki, I agree: every child is different and only you knows how your children will react.

When I had my hyst, my kids were 9 1/2 (son) and 5 (daughter). My daughter was too young to really understand and my son is not the type to ask questions.

We told my son about 1 month before my trip to castle and only told that I was having a BIG surgery and that I needed to take it easy both pre-op and post-op. He was VERY concerned, but didn't ask for any details... Typical male

He's the one who told my daughter, when I was about 2 weeks pre-op and we just reinforced his statement. With her, we were even less specific and only said that I would have a big howie and she would need to take of me.

We didn't take them to the hospital for two reasons:

1) I expected to be in a lot of pain and to have IV's, catheter and a whole paraphenelia of wires - I did have the IV and cath, but only for the first 24 hours, and I didn't want them to see me like this.

2) Both of them are very hyper and I didn't want them running all over the post-op floor, disrupting others.

IMO, the best way to go about this is to only answer their questions and not offer any information that they are not ready for. Often, they will guide into telling them the things they want to hear.

I agree with Karen: it's a lot harder on us.
Unread 06-13-2001, 10:41 PM
what to tell

I am so upset with my 13 year old daughter. She thinks the only reason I am schedule for the hysterectomy is to not have anymore kids. That is far from the truth, if I could I would love to have another one. She is so mad at me, I don't know what to say. I do not want to make her uneasy about her periods by telling her how painful mine have been. Got any ideas?
Unread 06-14-2001, 08:43 AM
what to tell my young children?

My boys are 9 and 11. So far I haven't said anything to them because my surgery isn't until next month. But this isn't the first surgery that I've had and the boys know what to expect from me post-op. I figure I will tell them the truth...but only to a point. I'm going to tell them that I'm going to be in the hospital for a couple of days to have an operation. I need to have something inside of me fixed because it's hurting me a lot. (they know about my monthly pains) I think with kids honesty is the best policy...so long as you keep it age appropriate.

Biffer, your daughter is reacting to something that is probably scaring her in the only way she knows how...selfishly and angrily. That's normal for that age group. Maybe she's sensing that you're holding something back from her? You did say that you don't want to make her uneasy about her periods. Maybe you should consider having an honest talk with her regarding your periods and your reasons for having this surgery and making her feel like she's "in the loop" so to speak. You can make a point to her that not all women have this much pain with their periods, but that you are one of the ones that does. That way she won't worry about her own periods too much. But at least she will have a better understanding.

Let us know how it goes. I'll be praying for you two.

Unread 06-14-2001, 09:17 AM
what to tell my young children?

Okay, my situation was a bit different, but a lot the same. I had to tell 100 7th graders! You just can't say, "Heh, kids, I am having surgery and won't be back until September." Oh, the rumors will fly. As the other sisters said on the board be TRUTHFUL but SIMPLE. That's it! Kids ask a few questions, then go on to something else. Sure they worry, but given a good support system, they will do fine. I had a TAH/BSO on June 6. I told my kids this,"You know I have not been myself lately(bubbly and full of energy). I have to have surgery for a woman problem. It is not uncommon for women my age, it is not CANCER, and I will be back in September, as good as new." Every class sat in silence. Scared, I guess! Then at least one kid or I cracked a joke, I put my home address on the board, and told them to BEHAVE! Cards and other surprises have been sent from them, and I cried. Kids are great! This will make you laugh. One of my special ed students who did fantastically in a grade level reading class said, "Tell us more about your surgery." I said, "Look it up in your health book, and if you want, I'll show you a copy of the lab report." He said, "Okay!" We all cracked up. He stayed after class and said, "Mrs. Cullen, I never thought I could read so much until your class. Thank you and good luck." So you see, kids just need the basics with a lot of smiles!
Unread 06-14-2001, 09:36 AM

I agree that honesty is the best policy. I also agree that you have to keep it age appropriate. I have a 10 yr. old daugher, 7 yr. old son, and 6 yr. old daughter. I just recently had "the talk" with my 10 yr. old about menstual cycles. After I found out that I have to have a TAH, I briefly explained to her that although many women have absolutely no problems, sometimes some women when they get older, do have problems. I did not go into the whole process or anything. I just told her it had to do with 'lady things' that we had just talked about. That she didn't need to worry. Yesterday, we went shopping and I asked her to help me pick out a nice nightgown, robe, and slippers. She really seemed to appreciate that I was including her in this.
My two younger children, they know that I am going into the hospital for a few days and that they have to be careful with my tummy when I get home. But they are so excited that they are going to get to stay at Grandma and PapPap's for a few days and they are going to the lake for a picnic one day. If someone is watching your children, this may be an idea for them to plan one special thing while they are watching them, and this gives them something to really look forward to.
I am also blessed with three wonderful children. They started making a list of the special things that they can do to help me after I get home. And DH told them if they do this, they will get a special "reward" for being such special helpers. This is also an incentive!!!
Unread 06-14-2001, 10:10 AM
what to tell my young children?

My boys (3 & 9 mos) are too young to be told anything.My daughter (7 1/2) knows all about babies and how they are made,wombs, etc.So I told her that because mommy wasn't having anymore babies the doctor was going to take her womb out.I told her I needed her to be a big girl and help daddy look after the boys and that I would need lotd of rest and wouldn't be able to do much for awhile.She was more than happy with that explanation and doesn't seem worried about me being in hospital at all.
Unread 06-14-2001, 10:15 AM
what to tell my young children?

Biffer, I agree with Laura: be honest about the reason for the hyster. I started my periods when I was 10 years old. And it's been a rocky road ever since. I remember my mother was honest from the start: even though she never needed an hyster, her periods were always irregular. As Laura said, she mentionned that most women are very regular, but that some of us are not. She also mentionned that for those of us who are not, we have to learn to rely on other signs than the calendar to predict our next period - signs like cramping, breaking out or headaches.

Children pick up on our moods and fears. Tween and pre-teen girls are especially aware of anything relating to their bodies. In your daughter's case, she knows what an hyst is. If you do not let her know why, she will think that you're doing as a definate contraception method. This notion probably comes from her own feelings towards reproduction.

Why don't you pick a quiet, intimate time to let her know what is happening? Let her ask questions and reassure her. And, at the same time, let her take care of you. Seems to me like you have a golden opportunity of strenghtening the bonds between your daughter and yourself.

Wishing you the best of luck.

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