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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:56 am
Posts: 120
Location: UK
so , when do you let your children take on steps to independance?
What age ?

When do you let them walk in to fast food place ( for instance) on thier own, and let them get a meal?

Or go to out to a decent resutaurant with a group of friends?

how would you guide your child to preprare them , or gain , through experience the life skill re allergy management?

I would be interested to know , how others judge when a child is able to cope with their allergies on thier own.
What steps they have taken to prepare them, and if they have done this , how do they think there child has coped?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
I would be unterested in hearing from other parents as well.
As our daughter is only 6 1/4, I can't comment on this much except to say that I try to give her as many experiences as I can and we discuss the steps we take to remain safe as we do them.
But...I can't remember the last time she has eaten a meal cooked at a restaurant. We only eat at one place that prepares the food in front of us and does not use any of her allergens. We have checked on the ingredients they do use (read the labels each time, question about possible new foods) and the staff have known us for almost 6 years now.
I try to get her to think about the issues of cross contamination and to speak up and ask questions herself or to think of the questions and I'll ask them for her.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:01 pm
Posts: 69
Location: Ontario, Canada
What a great question! With my son being only 2 1/2 years old I'm still explaining to him why he can't eat certain foods, which is sinking in but I am curious about the years ahead.

_________________
Jan, mom to 3 boys
DS#3 - eggs, cats, dust, eczema, avoiding nuts as a precaution
DS#2 - seasonal allergies
DS#1 - no allergies
Me & DH - seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:56 am
Posts: 120
Location: UK
thanks for posts.

lets make this more interesting............................

for instance,

your child of 12yrs has an invitation to go with a group of friends to a movie, and then go to a fast food restuaruant.
they have allergies to egg/peanut/legumes.


Do you let them go?


If yes, what steps have you taken to prepare them for this?

would you trust them ?


Or, would you hide out of sight with a spare epi pen?

Or point blank , not let them go?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 12:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 233
Location: Winnipeg
My sons are about to turn eight, and each of them is at a different place in regards to maturity, sense of responsibility, ability to communicate etc. One also has only one FA to deal with, while the other has to avoid entire food groups. I couldn't predict where either of them will be at 12.

Hypothetically, at whichever age they, and we, feel they are ready to go for a movie and fast food with friends, we would take steps such as making sure one of their friends knows all about their allergies and is able to help advocate for them, administer epi or call for assistance (I wouldn't want them eating with a group where absolutely no one knew about their allergies), and researching the food options at the fast food joint ahead of time so that it was less stressful and/or embarrassing for them to find safe options when they were there with their friends. I also like the idea of them having cel phones to contact us with quickly, and knowing the exact address of where they were going to be in case we were called upon to send an ambulance there.

Particularly for my son with multiple FA's, I think that activities that don't centre around food would be better...like sports or seeing the movie and skipping the fast food. There are so many things a young teen can do with their friends that don't centre around food.
But either way I know we'll find a safe way for him to participate, when he's ready.

Edited to add: And we will have to trust them. It is after all, their lives and their health and safety. I can't see us simply shoving them out the door with an epi in hand at the age of 12 (that does sound awfully, awfully young!), but little by little they will need to learn how to manage their own allergies, and we will have to trust them to do so. No lurking in the bushes with a purse full of epinephrine and handi-wipes on their first dates...no matter how much I'm tempted to do so!!!

_________________
1 son allergic to eggs, peanuts, green peas, chick peas, lentils and tomatoes
(avoiding tree nuts and most other legumes too)
1 son allergic to eggs, and has outgrown peanuts
Both with many environmental allergies, asthma and eczema


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
This is the ultimate parenting question! My daughter is 13, no food allergies, and I tell ya, it is hard hard hard to let go. Our experience is that we both have to be completely comfortable with a specific 'adventure', talk and plan how she is gong to do it and with who, and we set up some parameters that allow her to have fun while keeping me comfortable that she is being safe. Some things are non-negotiable. . . and I trust my gut when some request doesn't feel right and/or if I am feeling pressured to let her do something right away instead of looking into it first. I am also glad that she now has a cell phone, because that helps to locate her when I need to.

Having said all that, I know when it comes time to let my 9 year old boy ride his bike around the neighbourhood and/or go to the rink with friends, it is certainly going to be that much harder to let go because he has allergies. I know this year at school has been a growth year because when I tell him DON'T eat any food that didn't come out of your lunch box, I believe he understands me because he hears me say it every single day and has been faced with the situation where he doesn't eat what other people have offered, even though he wanted it. So if there is a field trip and I can't go, I remind him of this rule and let him go, knowing that there are adults with him that can help him out. I know I have to take this step because otherwise I will keep him too tight under my wing, and he will eventually resent me and his allergies and that WILL cause him to make poor choices because he won't feel very empowered.

So if I had to guess, I think we are going to start his adult-free kid adventures with a non-food trip to the local park with his friends. I will stay at home and let him use my cell so I can check in with him when I start to hyper-ventilate over the stress of letting him go....!

Caroline
9 year old son ana to peanuts, milk intolerant


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:06 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
I let my 10 year old go to a pizza place with his friend for lunch on some Fridays. I think the friend is capable of administering Epipen if son couldn't. I let him stay home by himself for a couple of hours. I left him in Disneyland at 9:00pm at night with his 15 year old brother, and they came back to the hotel 2 hours later (that was a hard one).

We are selectively strange in what we think is okay/not okay. EG - he will eat take out pizza when at friends house, but he wouldn't eat it after they put it in the toaster oven to re-heat. He has been told never to eat anything that is not from home at school, but he was caught trying to share food. When I questioned him, it was prpackaged pudding, which should be okay, and so now he has a deal where he can ask the secretary or any of his prior teachers to be on the safe side.

That being said, I stay for his martial art class even thought there is no food in the building, I stay for his football practices. I don't like leaving the football, and he likes me to stay for the martial arts, cos I think it is pretty safe. I went to all the birthday parties until he was about 8 or 9, and turned down a few. There are still sometimes when it seems like it's going to be okay, then it turns out that the food freaks him out (pizza from a place we don't know) and we just don't eat. He wanted to go to the movies with his friend and the friends 15 year old brother and I said no.

I trust him, but I have to trust the place he's going to in order for it to work for me - I would trust him to go to McDonalds, I would not trust him to go to a regular restaurant because the staff might not understand why he's asking.

He is quite intuitive, and he picked up when a man was about to follow him into a washroom when he was 8, and gave us both the heeby-jeepies, and he just stopped and said "I don't have to go" and walked back to me.

It's really hard to let go. That's why god made teenagers so hard to deal with

:lol: .


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:56 am
Posts: 120
Location: UK
thanks for the posts, I have done the hide out of sight with an epi pen!!




I am now trying to get him to eat some meals from the school canteen, but he is not happy with that. He is just starting his second term at senior school , and as he will have more freedom, he needs to practice this skill more often. I will have to have a few more chats about his comfort zone in the next couple of months.

He has always been fantastic at reading labels, esp as he has quite a few allergies, and has been going out to corner shop to buy treats by himself since he was 9-10 yrs.

I think letting them 'go' now is harder, but is far better than not letting them have some control of their own.

Here are a few of the other areas that I am going to try to find ways to tackle as the years go by,

kissing,
and
( safe **, in my sons case, not because of allergies, but because of a deep seated fear of having a teen with a bump and father + a shotgun on my doorstep!!.....although its worth remembering that comdoms contain milk products, and there are latex free condoms available)

going clubing

flying

going aboard with school

travelling ( gap year)

I am sure there are many more, feel free to add them!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:57 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
:? Are you sure we can't just keep them little forever?

I think of my daughter and how much self control she has. I hope that continues but I worry about the teen years and the desire to assimilate. I worry about others taking her seriously.

I don't want her to feel left out but I don't want her eating at fast food restaurants. I don't want a 16 year old preparing her food. Maybe that's wrong of me.

Maybe it's because we are total control freaks. Yes, I will be lurking in the bushes with her Epi-Pen (and I am the one who pushes her to be adventerous).

Dating? Kissing? Safe***? I should have planned this better. I just realized that she will go through puberty while I go through menopause. :roll:

Oh, I can see the drama now...

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Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject: Letting them grow up
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:55 pm
Posts: 21
Hi,
My daughter is severely anaphylaxic to peanuts, tree nuts, latex, sesame., pumpkin, trout ...more.... and she is 8. I think that we have to be more pro- active about giving her independence. Just to ensure that she can handle situations that arise as she grows up. The decisions are hard each and every time. I feel stress but I have to trust her...she has to be the one that makes decisions over time. I want her to be able to be a normal teenager.
Last night was a perfect example, we were out for dinner at friends and she went for a walk with the teenagers. They bought Tim's donuts - she was confident enough to say "no thank you - I can't have them". That's what I want from her.

We do go out to restaurants - it is stressful - we do take risk - it is unavoidable. But we want her to be able to live her life fully as she grows up. Certainly we are careful but there is risk everywhere and we know what to do and she knows what to do. She has had a life threatening reaction - we know the risks very well.

I want her to be prepared to have a normal life as a teenager and it will probably take me being on anti-anxiety drugs but she needs to be independent for her own mental health. It is our job to give them the tools....as hard as it is. Every day I remember to give her more freedom, more independence, trust her more....I have too.

Kim


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 Post subject: Another note
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:55 pm
Posts: 21
Hi,
I realized I forgot to mention that Lauren has asthma as well so all of my previous comments include this as well.
We do recognize she is in the highest risk category for anaphylaxis.
Kim


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:18 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Quote:
...she went for a walk with the teenagers. They bought Tim's donuts - she was confident enough to say "no thank you - I can't have them". That's what I want from her.


That's great!

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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