Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by melissanreynolds
I am a big advocate for creating plans for managing. Planning reduces suffering. It takes the power back into our hands. But what about when we have children to manage too?
We’ve discussed pain management plans and flare plans before. I believe that making an actual written down plan of what you will do during a flare helps us to use it when we need it. When I was further back in my journey I would sink into a flare before I realised I was heading there. Writing down a list of coping mechanisms and activities to do in order of ability made a big difference. Heading off a flare is the best thing we can do to minimise it’s impact on our lives.
Today I want to share the concept of making a flare plan for managing your kids. Let’s prepare ahead of time and make it easier to manage.
It can be as simple as a list of easy activities that you can use as the day requires like a pick and mix bag. Or you could write them in order of your symptom levels (eg. Them watching TV with you lying on the couch at the bottom).
Don’t wait for a flare, these activities are great for daily use. I use many of these activities regularly with my children. I have four boys aged 8, 5, 3 and 1. I also have two nieces who are 5 and 2. These activities are suitable for the ages of children that require being occupied by us. There are options for varying degress of our ability too.
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Easy activities for your kids when you’re in a fibromyalgia flare to get your list started
This could be as simple as warm water and a few toys. Special bubble bath won’t go astray. You can sit and watch them play. Of course, if you’re feeling poorly, help to dress them would be useful.
Gumboots on and play on the back lawn
The best thing we ever did was a build a playground in our backyard. We also have a trampoline, a few bikes and many balls. When I was pregnant with my third and experiencing severe pelvis issues it was a lifesaver. It’s still awesome!
Share your experience with them
Reading is a wonderful activity to do together on a flare day, or anytime. I created my book My Mama Has Fibromyalgia for children. You can read this book with your children and let them ask any questions they have. It’s a great conversation starter for why you need their help (in an age-friendly manner).
Mess free options are great. But remember crayons, washable markers and colouring pencils are options depending on their ages. My kids have varying options of the mess free packs from Paw Patrol to generic options. They are great!
We have a big box in our lounge with different sets of Duplo (most of my children are 5 and under). There’s a container of smaller Lego in my big boy’s room. We love the Jurassic World set below but there are many options.
For even more about pregnancy and parenting with fibromyalgia see this resources page!
There are loads of subscription box ideas out there. You can get almost anything according to age and preferences. If you are anything like me and enjoy crafts but don’t want to figure out getting supplies or creating ideas, then the below box might be a great start. But have a good look through the options. They are great to add to birthday and Christmas wish lists.
- Stories – my kids love being read to.
- Nursery rhymes
- Dance party
- Kids yoga (YouTube or made up)
- Play doh – I keep all our Play doh supplies together in a tub for ease of getting it out and packing it up
- Sensory bins
- Cushion obstacle course
- Go to an indoor park and let them play while you have a cuppa
- Simon says (or other instruction dance)
- Watch a movie
- Card games (depending on their ages)
Create a special flare box
A box that you only bring out during the days you really are struggling. Add special toys and activities that they can do themselves. This way it feels special to them and they don’t need to know why.
What would you add?
Will you create a list and use it?