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What is a brave child?

(13 Posts)
bobbybob Thu 26-May-05 02:17:46

I was asked to contribute to a magazine article (as a mum, I am not a journalist, and the magazine is in New Zealand)about my ds suffering from allergies and being brave.

He is allergic to latex and thus can't have balloons, character plasters, rubber stamps on his hands, use PVA glue, wear masks, eat bananas. He is also allergic to peanuts and egg and so doesn't get invited to many parties.

He gets loads of tests done, all involving needles, and usually thanks the person doing the test (and tells them they are nice!)

But is this brave? it's so normal for us that I actually have no idea. The only thing I can compare it to is that he can't have so many things and accepts it, whereas I do see other toddlers scream and shout if they can't have the smallest thing.

tatt Thu 26-May-05 06:23:00

I think journalists just want a positive slant - and all children with problems have to be see as "brave". Actually I think all allergic children have to grow up faster and be less demanding. They also have high levels of anxiety as they live with the fear of a reaction. Overcoming fear and rejection and growing up normal is brave. However as one of my children cries if they see a needle yours is exceptionally brave.

bobbybob Thu 26-May-05 10:09:48

But surely to be brave, you have to have a choice.

Tommy Thu 26-May-05 10:14:05

I can see where you're coming from bobbybob. I guess, for your DS, it's just what happens in life - his life - but compared to other children, he does have to be brave!

Twiglett Thu 26-May-05 10:14:50

agree to be brave you have to have a choice .. although your DS sounds very stoic and polite and just adorable . Many people, including journos, wrongly use the word brave (and ironic come to think of it) when you have no choice over the matter

I think if you are being interviewed you should just say exactly what you've said there, the journalist will put their own slant on it

Twiglett Thu 26-May-05 10:15:43

i think the bravery is maybe in his approach to having it done, that he knows that something that is going to happen isn't pleasant but he doesn't kick and scream before an inevitable situation .. he does have that choice I suppose

Twiglett Thu 26-May-05 10:16:16

but that's also just the way you've taught him and enabled him to accept it .. well done you

bobbybob Thu 26-May-05 10:16:22

I guess to be brave, you have to cope with something that someone else would think they couldn't cope with. The funny thing is, they would if they had to, most of us would do anything for our children.

Tommy Thu 26-May-05 10:21:23

I meant to say what Twiglett did except that she put it much more eloquently than me - as always!

I suppose it's like lots of things - it's just what you get used to. People often comment on how polite my DS is - really only because he has to say please, thank you etc and it's just habit for him now - he's not constantly thining "Oh, I must be really polite"

coral Thu 26-May-05 13:58:27

If you think of the definition of "brave" as "able to face and deal with danger or fear" then I think that this definitely must apply to any child with serious allergies as, to enable them to live as normal as possible a life to the full they have to be mature and confident and possess the ability to continuously assess and deal with any potential life threatening triggers head on. Equally, I think this definition must also apply to all the parents of seriously allergic kids. I know that even now every time my daughter goes out without me I have to be "brave enough" to let her go even though I would much rather just keep her with me all the time!!! However, I know that this would not benefit anyone and I just hope and pray that she has learnt and understands enough to keep herself safe. My saving grace is that I agree with Tatt in that, through necessity, she has had to grow up fast and is so mature as far as her allergies are concerned.

tatt Fri 27-May-05 06:46:58

there is always a choice, bobbybob, even if its not much of one. Children could retreat to babyhood, not want to go away from those who will see they are safe and so on. Doesn't your heart bleed when your child isn't asked to a party because of their allergies or has to face another series of tests? Our kids cope with all the rejection and keep cheerful. It isn't the same sort of bravery that leads someone to, say, save a life. I suspect our kids would be first in life if ever that was necessary because they have learned not just to overcome fear but to see overcoming fear as nothing special.

bobbybob Fri 27-May-05 08:26:02

I was beside myself the other day because a well meaning parent a playcentre sent all the kids outside to eat some cake because it had egg in it. Bob sat all on his own (apart from me) inside eating his dry homepopped popcorn while I cried my eyes out next to him. I tried not to for his sake, but it was just too much for my heart to bear. I was trying to explain that sending them out was worse than coping with the stress, and Bob patted my hand and said "I'm okay mummy I have popcorn and it's yummy". And I thought - no it's not, it's horrible and dry and one day you will realise this and we'll both be upset. He's 27 months old fgs, he shouldn't have to make me feel better.

Tommy Fri 27-May-05 08:39:45

bobbybob
Your DS sounds like a delightful boy - and that is to your credit.

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