When is it the right time to let your child decide about their care?

@mommyboo (13198)
United States
August 4, 2008 11:56am CST
If you have a terminally ill child or one who has dealt with constant surgeries, corrections, PT, other therapy, etc, when do you let them have the choice to continue or stop? Does it depend on whether they are just disabled and not dying, or if they are dying? Should they eventually be able to decide their own fate, when enough is enough, or do you feel you have the right to keep them with you as long as possible? Is it an age? Or is it a maturity, an understanding? Do you base it on the quality of the time they have left? As parents, we all love our children, we don't want to lose them. My take is after they have gone through so much, if they are a teen (or younger and won't make it much longer), they should have that right - to continue or to stop. I would let my child know that as their mother, I loved them dearly and wanted them to be with me as long as possible but that I also wanted them to treasure and enjoy the life they had and be able to make a choice about the direction of that life. It's really hard, as a parent you are supposed to 'go' before your kids do, it feels wrong when you can see that you will lose them before they lose you.
2 people like this
4 responses
• United States
4 Aug 08
mommyboo, I can not answer this in all honesty. I know what I would like to think and what I would like to think would be the way i would handle this. But the fact is I have not a clue how I would really react. I hope I never have to.
1 person likes this
@checapricorn (16066)
• United States
4 Aug 08
Hi mommyboo, This is really hard..Hmmm..in my case, I will be trying hard to make things possible and do whatever it takes to just have them longer, but if it means they will suffer on it and obvious that it will go nowhere, I will also let them enjoy their lives and give the best for that remaining days! I know that when kids will say they can't handle it anymore, it is serious, so even if painful ,have to be cheerful for them to be happy !
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
5 Aug 08
Oh, and kids are smart! Mine can always tell when I'm stressed out or worried about something. I get morose or I snap lol.
@34momma (13895)
• United States
4 Aug 08
i think any person who is dealing with an illness are wiser beyond their years. i think if a child is very ill, they should be able to make the choice if they want to continue to deal with the pain and all the other things that go with being sick that way. even more so if nothing can be done that will really help.
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
5 Aug 08
I think so too. I know that if *I* only had a limited time left, I'd want to finish out certain dreams I had, and I bet kids feel the same way. For a teen for instance, if they wanted to travel, we'd travel, if they wanted to marry their boyfriend or girlfriend, I'd probably let them.
• Lubbock, Texas
5 Aug 08
Thank you for posting this. I'm not qualified to answer because I've never been in that position and I truly don't know what I'd do. It's easy to say I would do this or I'd do that, but you don't know until you're staring that decision in the face. My heart goes out to all those who are facing that decision because it can't be easy.