Empowering Our Youth With Food Allergies

Powerful words…

Tip # 4:  “Sometimes we make mistakes but please don’t lose trust in us.  Encourage us and have faith in that we will learn from our mistakes.”

Tip # 12:   “Give us knowledge to empower us for tomorrow.”

I have really been taking Anaphylaxis Canada’s Youth Advisory Council’s 31 Tips for parents with allergic youth to heart…I have two boys in their teens with multiple food allergies.

I can’t stop thinking that my eldest son, Michael, in Grade 11, with multiple food allergies…dairy, egg, beef, lamb, sesame, peanut/tree nuts, fish, shellfish, mustard and raspberries…will be leaving home soon to start his own journey in life with food allergies.

Every day I read a new tip…each day I wonder…have I prepared him to be independent…have I taught him to be his own advocate…does he feel empowered?

Questions all parents ask of themselves when their children reach that certain age…however, having multiple food allergies adds another element of responsibility on the part of the parents and their children.

How does a parent with a child/children with multiple food allergies successfully pass the torch…teach their children to be advocates for themselves…empower them?

Life is all about choices…as parents, we make all the choices for our children but as they grow and mature, there are always opportunities to give our children the chance to take some risks and make some choices.

Isn’t that what growing up is all about…taking risks and learning from them?

Living with multiple food allergies adds another dimension to the risk taking that tends to immobilize us as parents…we understand full well the stakes are much higher when confronted with multiple food allergies.

How, as parents, do we rationalize this reality…while at the same time give our children the opportunity to learn from their mistakes?

I am not an expert…just a parent of two teenagers with multiple food allergies…looking for answers just as much as the next parent with children with food allergies.

I know as a parent with children with multiple food allergies, eczema and asthma issues…my husband and I have made our fair share of mistakes. I have a very large back-pack of guilt that topples me over from time to time.  I have to constantly remind myself…there is no use going back…only forward.

My husband and my mistakes are the templates from which we learn and teach our children with food allergies from…I am forever telling my boys…

“I may not always like the choices that you make but I will always love you.”

I am currently trying to put together all my thoughts, tips, words of wisdom, adapted recipes and experiences as a parent of children with food allergies together. I am hoping to create something that my boys and youth with food allergies can take away with them on the day they head off into the big wide world.

What types of questions cross your mind?

What do the allergic youth of today need in order for them to feel empowered as they leave home for the first time?

I would greatly appreciate your input as parents of children with food allergies, youth with food allergies and parents and youth with food allergies that have already been through these experiences.

Youth with food allergies are uniting…let’s join them!

Please leave a comment or email me at my new address: susan@thefoodallergychronicles.com

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3 thoughts on “Empowering Our Youth With Food Allergies

  1. …and we will call home at one point saying ‘Mom, Im at the hospital, I had a reaction…currecntly having benadryl, solumedrol, ranitidine….already buzzing from the epi’……DONT FREAK OUT! =) They already had to CONVINCE us to call home and admit we made a mistake!:) We will learn for next time!

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