How Can You Support a Friend With a Child in the Hospital?3 min read
Nothing stresses parents out more than having a child in the hospital. As their friend, you may be wondering if you can support them in any way. Let’s discuss the different ways you can help your friend while their child is in a hospital in Denver. Ease their burden even a little bit by following these tips.
Give Your Friend More Opportunities to Rest
Around 25% of all hospitalized children have to rely on NG/OG tubes, and 60% of those young patients are staying in the NICU. Studies have also shown that 56% of those NG/OG tubes are not positioned properly. Simply put, things can get very complicated for babies staying in the NICU and their parents. New parents often lose sleep worrying about how their children are doing in the NICU.
If you have a friend with a child in the NICU, you can make things easier for them by giving them more opportunities to rest. Offer to drop them off at the hospital so they can rest on the way over. Ask them if you can help by picking up their other kids from school. You can also offer them meals so they can spend more time resting instead of preparing food.
Let Them Know That You’re Always Available for a Conversation
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, people who have gone through traumatic events are at greater risk of developing PTSD. The traumatic experience in question could be a difficult birth or seeing their child sustain a life-threatening injury. Individuals with PTSD may experience emotional distress, develop cognitive problems, become plagued by negative thoughts, and seek isolation among other symptoms.
If you suspect your friend has PTSD or extreme stress due to their child having to stay in a hospital in Denver, you cannot pressure them into talking about what happened or how they’re feeling. The best you can do in that situation is to let them know that you’re always available for a conversation if they’re ready to have one. Continue giving them space until that time.
Prioritize Listening to Your Friend
When your friend finally decides that they want to talk about what’s happening, you can’t approach that conversation like a normal one. In a normal conversation, you and your friend may go back and forth with suggestions and ideas. You may think that you know better so you are giving your friend advice.
This time around, simply prioritize listening. Allow them to take the lead during your conversation and don’t bring up any topics unless they open them up first. If they do ask for advice, that’s the time for you to share your thoughts.
Stay Calm When Your Friend Gets Angry
The stress caused by having a child in the hospital can be unbearable for many parents. Some of them may lash out in anger and frustration if they believe their negligence is the reason why their child is currently in the hospital. Others may direct their anger at the person they think is responsible for whichever unfortunate incident occurred.
This type of anger that a parent may express is often irrational and sometimes explosive. When facing it, you must do your best to stay calm. Maintaining a calm demeanor in that situation is the best way to de-escalate. If you are struggling to control your anger as well, you may have to take time away from your friend.
Offer Gifts to Your Friend
Gifts can also be helpful during this trying time. 65% say they feel special after receiving flowers. Consider offering some flowers to your friend to brighten up their day. You can also offer monetary gifts, like a spa gift card or a thoughtful card.
Offering support to your friend with a child in a hospital in Denver is not always easy. You must be mindful of all the circumstances if you want to help instead of hurting your friend.