9 Tips for Parenting With Psoriatic Arthritis

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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.”


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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.”


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.