Friday, August 16, 2013
Teaching Independence and Food Allergy Awareness
One of our goals is to teach Bee to take responsibility for her allergies. One day she will be somewhere without me and she will have to be her own advocate. The thought of that absolutely terrifies me. But I know that she will grow up and she will have to be responsible for her allergies, health, and safety. I'm not exactly sure how we're going to teach this independence.
I want her to understand the seriousness of her allergies and know that all it takes is one little bite. I want her to recognize that there are no second chances and that her allergies will be something she deals with on a daily basis. However, I don't want her to live in fear either, paralyzed to go places or enjoy new experiences. Where is the balance?
So, not only do I worry about her food allergies, I worry about how she will handle them herself and how I will teach her. But I was encouraged just last week -
My husband took the kids ice skating. He loaded them in the car with their skates, jackets, and heavy socks. They backed out of the driveway and a small voice from the backseat piped up, "Don't forget the Epi!" Yes, little Bee has heard me say this phrase about a million times in her little life. And now she has taken responsibility for reminding others to see to her needs. Since that day, I have heard that phrase from her every single time we walk out the back door.
I don't forget her Epi and I remember that one of the most important things I can do is to model actions and words for my kids. They are always watching and they have learned the importance of taking the Epi with us just from watching us. So, I think we've discovered step 1 in teaching Bee to be her own advocate. We can do this!