Disciplining your Cardiac Kid

You may have the impression that when I was growing up, life around the Funky Heart household was all roses. I’m afraid not – I was a kid, and like all kids, I got into trouble!

I don’t remember exactly what I had done, but since it was a Sunday night, I had probably misbehaved at church. (Ten year old boys are very good at that!) And when we got home, I was spanked for my misdeeds. The next day at school, I had a coughing spell and threw up blood… and within a month, I underwent my second heart operation.

Were the two events related? As far as I know, they weren’t. I’ve written before that the doctors at Johns Hopkins had predicted that my first operation would last ten to twelve years before I outgrew it and something else would have to be done. Since I was ten years and six months old at the time of the second surgery, they were pretty accurate. But I also know that was the last spanking I ever had.

Maybe my parents were a little scared to spank after that. I never got into too much trouble; Heart Moms can tell you, their Cardiac Kids usually aren’t hellraisers. (Though every now and again you meet a Cardiac Kid who is spoiled rotten. I have to resist the urge to tell those children to straighten up, you’re giving the rest of us a bad name!)

Disciplining your Cardiac Kid is an issue that you will have to face – they are children, after all. Nobody gave them a list of the rules of proper behavior when they were born, and even if they did, the child can’t read them. And other than telling you that the “average” spanking probably won’t hurt them, I can’t tell you what to do. You will have to speak to your child’s cardiologist about it.

Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed; Pediatricians and Pediatric Cardiologists have been here before. They aren’t going to give you a hard time or call Social Services, unless your idea of discipline is pretty extreme. Just ask, and follow his/her advice.

Dad may have rethought his ideas on physical discipline, but he replaced it with this glare that lets you know he is not pleased with your actions. I have seen that glare…trust me, it’s not pleasant!


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3 Responses to “Disciplining your Cardiac Kid”

  1. carolyn compton Says:

    oh yeah, the glare…and what about the silent traetment…”righto you….come here….” i’m thinking “oh no what have i done?” then it comes ….nothing…all sorts of misdemeaners past and present go through my mind. I guess its called self discipline and great training for a good conscience.

  2. Awesome Mom Says:

    I treat both of my kids the same although I think my husband is a bit overly harsh with my heart kid. He seems to have his expectations set a little bit too high for a kid that is only five. That is something that can happen with an eldest child no matter the health status.

  3. Erica Says:

    My son is a twin, the ‘youngest’ (by one minute) of 4 kids. A neonatalogist once said to me, ‘Oh, he’s going to be so spoiled – you’re never going to yell at him!’ I told her, ‘Are you kidding me? I can’t *wait* to yell at him! Yes, he’s special, but no more special than my other 3 kids.’

    It gives me great pleasure to have to discipline him like his brother and sisters. He has his issues, true, but we’ve always tried our hardest to have him be as normal as possible.

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