Love Notes to Your PANS ChildApr 05, 2021
Being a kid can be so difficult and confusing at times. Different ages bring different challenges and life lessons. Going through childhood and adolescence with PANS is tough on everyone involved, both the child and the family.
I speak to these challenges, and work with families and therapists of those affected with PANS because I lived it. There were days when I felt like things would never ever get better. Those days became worse when I felt like I couldn't connect with my daughter. One thing that really helped us was writing short love notes to each other.
Love notes for my daughter
I first tried writing notes to my daughter when she was middle school age. I knew that she was struggling with her PANS diagnosis along with everything else that comes with being a kid. She wasn't receptive to our face to face conversations, so I knew I needed to find another way.
I began writing short notes with simple phrases like:
- I'm so proud of you
- You've come so far
- I know things are tough, but they will get better
And do you know what? She actually started writing me back. She told me how she was feeling too much pressure at school, and even how it made her sad and stressed when I would get upset with her. Thinking about that now makes me tear up.
I feel like I learned so much about my daughter through these seemingly simple notes. I know now though that they weren't so simple. They have helped our relationship in so many ways, and opened my eyes to what an incredible young woman she has become.
She's now a teenager, and we still write notes back and forth...now it's usually in the form of a text though!
Many find writing to be therapeutic, and perhaps this is one of the reasons why I found success in writing notes to my daughter. More than that however, I think writing down your thoughts and feelings can sometimes be the most effective way to express yourself. For many reasons, writing something down can be far easier and clearer than saying it to someone's face.
These notes establish communication and lay a foundation for you future relationship as parent and child. Our PANS kids are going through so many emotions as they navigate their way through their emotions, diagnosis, and treatment. These notes can give them another option of communicating with us about how they are feeling.
I encourage you to try it out. You never know...you just may get a love note back.
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