Member question:

Do you have tips about talking about a new seasonal allergy? My 8 y/o daughter got really swollen eyes and ended up on multiple medications that she doesn’t like, and we don’t want her playing in the same location where it happened at least not right away. (It was a new area she hasn’t really gone in until that day, so we think maybe more of the allergen is there because she’s been outside a lot without major issues before that.) She has to take more showers, etc., and she thinks the whole thing is unfair. She also does an outdoor nature program and is worried she won’t be able to do that even though I said she can.


Rachel’s response:

The truth is that this does cause Yuck for her, and she needs to release some of that Yuck. To her, it is unfair and it’s OK for her to let that out. It’s like a pressure cooker that needs to let off of steam.

Here’s what I’d suggest:

1.) Allow her some time to just vent. Ask her all of the reasons that she’s annoyed. (Or if she’s already done that, go back and tell her that it makes sense why she’d be annoyed. Let her know you get it.)

2.) Once she feels heard and understood, you can join with her as a team against the problem (the allergies). Let her know that you can’t fix the allergies, but you want to the two of you to figure out a way to make things less miserable for her. Note that if you offer to do this and she’s still complaining, she’s still in Yuck and that’s not a good time. You can either wait during that conversation or approach it with her another time.

The goal isn’t to convince her to just deal with it since there is nothing you can do about the allergies. The goal is to help her through it since there is nothing you can do about the allergies.