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Caring for People in Pain Parenting

Challenge, Support, & Love

Helping my son get out of bed when he was in pain was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I knew how much he hurt. But we both knew that the worst mistake we’d made when he first got sick was to let him withdraw from the world and into his bed. The light hurt […]

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Caring for People in Pain Pain Rehabilitation Parenting

How Do Doctors Build Trust?

Doctors, patients, and caregivers all bring something different to the table. All contribute to healing. The patient has the lived experience. It is their body. Their life. It is their decision what they decide to do and take from the relationship in the hope of moving forward. The caregiver brings support. Often – especially when […]

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Caring for People in Pain Parenting

When Your Child Says They’re In Pain, Believe Them.

One of the hardest things about invisible illnesses is that they’re – um – invisible. No one can see them. Only the person who has them knows they exist. The most common chronic pain conditions in children and teens – headache, migraine, gastrointestinal problems, skeletal issues – are trivialized. That’s pretty awful. Anyone, anytime, can […]

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Caring for People in Pain Parenting

Supporting Parents of Teens & Children In Pain

I’m reading a book called The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig. It’s a fantasy – a parable really – about regret and depression and building a better life. Sounds odd for a book I picked because it was billed as ‘a feel good novel’ about a life well lived, doesn’t it? Did I mention that […]

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Caring for People in Pain Parenting

Balancing Challenge & Support

Urie Bronfenbrenner was one of the giants of 20th century developmental psychology. One of the founders of HeadStart, Urie had many favorite sayings about raising children. In additional to studying children for more than half a century, he also had five of his own. One person who is crazy about you One thing that fascinated […]

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First Person Parenting

Quieting Your Inner Voices So You Can Hear Your Child’s Pain

Nothing is more distressing than listening to a baby cry. I’m not just saying that about me. There’s a lot of research on the topic. When we hear a child in distress all we want to do is make it stop. Their hurt makes us hurt. I don’t think that ends when they’ve grown. I […]

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Caring for People in Pain Parenting

How To Help When Your Child’s in Pain: Listen

When my child’s in pain, my first instinct is to try to fix it. That’s my job right? But it’s not always what they need. Sometimes they need to vent and blow off steam. This is hard for us. It’s worse for them. If we jump in too fast we’re not giving them permission to […]

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Parenting Self Care

Can Stoicism Make You A Happier Parent?

Confession time I feel guilty. Why? Because there are times I feel I’m failing at my most important job: being a mom. My son hurts all the time – and I can’t protect him. He is having a hard time transitioning gracefully to adulthood. He struggled to make it through high school – it’s tough […]

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Pain Rehabilitation Parenting Scientific Research

Following Doctor’s Orders

When teens don’t believe parents or doctors have the right to set rules, they don’t follow them.

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Parenting

Kids Who Go To School In Pain

Nancy DarlingFirst published in Psychology Today: Thinking About Kids October 2014 Note: I wrote this years ago, when my son’s migraines first when chronic. Much has changed in our lives. Sending him to school with his pain remains one of the hardest things my husband and I – and certainly our son – has ever […]

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Pain Rehabilitation Parenting

Pain, Ambiguous Loss, & Acceptance

Acceptance means holding both a painful now and a hopeful future in our minds· Death can be a harsh shock, as someone is ripped from us and is no longer present in our lives.  It has a finality to it – that’s part of the shock and much of the pain.  But it is real […]

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App Development Caring for People in Pain Parenting

Caregiver Mode: Unique to 1step2life

A mother’s despair This app began as a search for a tool. My son was in horrible pain – in bed, in the dark, barely holding on to school. When I looked at him, my first thought was always the same – How much pain is he in? Then I’d wonder if he’d taken his […]

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Parenting

You Can Curse

How do you cope when things feel their worst? You can cry. Or laugh. Or curse.

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Parenting

A Life Changing Event

When do I get my old life back?

The answer is, you don’t. That’s why they call it a ‘life changing event.’

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Caring for People in Pain Parenting

School: The Big Picture

Families need to work together towards a shared goal: helping children grew into healthy happy adolescents and adolescents make successful transitions to adulthood.

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1step Comics Caring for People in Pain First Person Pain Rehabilitation Parenting

Getting Kids In Pain To School

Concrete tips on moving a teen in pain out of bed and towards functioning.

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Parenting

Children and COVID-19: What Parents Should Know.

I just wrote a new blog for Psychology Today on COVID-19 and kids. As the parent of someone who is chronically ill, I not only worry that he’ll be sick with the flu or COVID-19 or a cold. I worry that getting any of those viruses will kick off another long spike in pain. Keeping […]

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Pain Rehabilitation Parenting

Getting Kids to Open Up

When your child is in pain, it’s easy to focus in on the three things that worry us: pain, pills, and homework. I know for myself, just seeing my son’s face triggers that mental checklist.

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Parenting

New Edition Released of Parenting a Child in Chronic Pain

As a developmental psychologist who has studied parenting on four continents, I can tell you a lot about raising teenagers. But nothing prepared me for watching my son shaking under the covers flinching from the light, and unable to speak from pain.

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About Us Caring for People in Pain Pain Rehabilitation Parenting

Research: Do kids believe it’s okay for parents to set rules about rehab?

As children become teens, they take more and more control over the decisions that govern their lives. Parents set rules, but teens who disagree with those rules have choices: they can obey, argue, or hide the fact that they’re not doing what they’re supposed to. In the US, most parents and teens agree that it’s […]