The Importance of Appropriate and Adequate Support for Gluten-Free Kids

Yesterday I wore an elastic wrist support band while I worked.  Since I was a kid I’ve had weak wrists. Yesterday it hurt really badly to move my right wrist. Lifting and twisting motions were the worst.  Writing a post-it note brought me close to tears. I kept adjusting and readjusting the Velcro on the band and still my wrist hurt. I changed how I was shifting my car. I decided to order out for dinner to avoid having to chop anything.

When I got home from work I happened across a traditional Ace bandage and decided I would switch to it so there would be some thumb support and I could suspend my wrist at a different angle. I wore the bandage all evening and all night. This morning, you’d never know I had any pain.

The difference was amazing. I went from excruciating pain to no pain in about 12 hours without any medication.

What made the difference? Appropriate and adequate support made the difference.

If the first band had wrapped my knee, my wrist would have continued to hurt. So the short band was appropriate because it wrapped the correct part of my body, but it did not provide adequate support. Without adequate support my pain continued.

If being dependent on someone else is causing me pain, then you giving me the money to pay all my bills may be supportive, but it is not appropriate. Unless I have the courage and insight to refuse your help, I am choosing to prolong my pain.

And so it is with life. Without appropriate and adequate support, we continue to live in pain.

As parents we want to support our children. We’re willing to do almost anything to help as long as we think it’s important. Sometimes we may have a differing opinion from our children’s other parent regarding what is important. This may be especially true if we’re divorced.

For all of us who maintain a gluten-free lifestyle, we know how much support it can take to stay on track. When our kids have to be gluten-free, it takes both parents working together with doctors, teachers, daycare workers, coaches, friends, friends’ parents, and siblings to provide adequate support.

Angry child

It’s always good to keep in mind how hard it is for us when we feel different from other diners in a restaurant. It’s even more difficult for our kids when they feel different from their peers. They may soon find it unbearable and go back to eating regular pizza if one parent belittles the gluten-free lifestyle or them for adhering to it.

Providing adequate support for a Celiac child requires that all his/her caregivers understand that even a small amount of gluten causes an autoimmune response that can damage the small intestine and require a whole year for his body to heal. Helping our children understand what to avoid is hard enough. Helping them develop enough social backbone and social grace to politely resist another adult’s insistence that “just a little bite of cake won’t hurt” requires that we all work as a united force.

I know that sometimes it would be easier just to give in when our moms, dads, spouses or kids want to debate the merits of staying gluten-free, but if we know that our children’s health depends on it, we must stay the course. If we do not, we are failing to provide appropriate and adequate support.

Have a particularly sticky situation you don’t know how to handle? Let us know what it is and our team will respond with some options to help you.


Photo by David Castillo Dominici

Author: Cheri Thriver

Hello, Cheri Thriver here blogging about cooking, thriving, and the intersection of the two. I’ve been living a gluten-free lifestyle for over 15 years. I understand that it’s rarely a lack of knowledge or the availability of appropriate food that keeps us from making healthy choices. More often than not, it’s an emotional connection, previous trauma, or fear of social reprisal that keeps us stuck. My wish is that you’ll find something here that informs, entertains, or inspires you to change anything that needs to be changed for you to live fully and thrive.

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