Parental Paradox: Sick Or Faking It?
I have parental paradox.
How do you tell if your kid is faking being sick or not?
Chicken Middle has high functioning Autism (ASD). A lot of kids with ASD also have related anxiety issues. Chicken Middle (and Chicken) both have anxiety issues along with other related conditions.
Due to her anxiety, Chicken Middle often associates her feelings of anxiety with a physical symptom; stomach aches, head aches, and just feeling physically “weird” (what in the hell does weird mean!?). It makes for a highly confusing matter trying to decide whether her symptoms are related to anxiety or something is actually wrong with her. Next, add in the fact she is a self diagnosed hypochondriac. I never can tell what is going on with this kid. Which leads me to the parental paradox.
What do you do/how do you react when you have a kid who is a hypochondriac?
Do you coddle them as if they were deathly sick every time they complain of feeling ill?
What if they are just seeking attention? I guess then you know there is something else going on and you need to figure out why they want more attention.
Do you tell them to suck it up and deal with each complaint as if they were lying?
What if they aren’t and something is actually medically wrong with them and they get horribly sick and end up in the hospital! Think of all the mom guilt you would carry around with you the rest of your life.
I’m stuck in the middle of those two extremes; not knowing which way to lean. I even do the “threat” where I question her as to if she needs to go to the emergency room if it’s that bad.
However, it isn’t just her simply stating she doesn’t feel good. It is accompanied by moans of dying, body whining and listlessness. This girl could win a Oscar. Which irritates me so much I end up telling her to suck it up and move on with life. Usually, it works.
Nevertheless, I then start thinking about the repercussions of that. What if she no longer wants to tell me when something is wrong and then she gets really sick and ends up in the hospital anyways!
See how my mind goes to the extreme so fast.
What do I do?
Besides taking their temperature and looking for obvious signs (puking!) how do you decipher is your child is really sick?