9 Tips for Parenting With Psoriatic Arthritis

Patient Expert
View as:|
1 of 10

Chronic disease affects the whole family. If you’re parenting with psoriatic arthritis, here are a few ways to ensure your kids become more resilient in the process.


Talk it out

Choose an age-appropriate way to tell your kids about your psoriatic arthritis. For a toddler, it may be as simple as: “Mama’s hands hurt” or “Dad has boo-boos on his skin.” For older kids, give them a sense of the disease, what it feels like, your limitations, and — most importantly — give it a name. It’ll help them separate you from your disease.


Plan ahead

If morning stiffness is a problem for you, make school lunches and pick out clothes the night before. A personal favorite — put your toddler to bed in socks so you’re not wrangling tiny feet first thing.


Wake up early

Early rising leaves time for a walk and a healthy breakfast for you. And if nothing else, you’ve allowed yourself a few extra minutes for your body to warm up and shake off some stiffness before the rush with the kids begins.


Set a confident example

Unlike arthritis, psoriasis is a very visible disease. When your child’s friend asks: “What’s that?” answer with grace and confidence. “Oh, it’s psoriasis; it’s like an itchy rash.”


Teach them about disability

Your psoriatic arthritis could be a means for your children to learn and practice empathy. As the saying goes: “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”


Be present through the pain

You don’t have to wrestle with your kids, throw around a ball, or ride bikes to be present. Low-impact activities — reading a book together, watching a favorite movie, or playing a board game — are all ways to spend time together even in the midst of a painful flare.


Get the right gear

Easy weekday dinners like spaghetti with sauce are only convenient if you can get the jar open. Invest in a few gadgets — this under-counter jar opener is a favorite — to keep family dinner prep pain-free.


Accept, and ask for, help

Let your partner, extended family, or your kids help with household tasks so you can reserve your energy and your joint strength for other activities.


Take care of yourself

Be proactive in your self-care. Eat well, exercise when you can, and preserve your sleep so you can be your best self for you and your family.