How Does Granting Wishes Benefit Hospitalized Children?
Life completely changes for hospitalized children, often quite suddenly. They lose their routine: going to school, playing with their friends, participating in extracurricular activities, etc. It’s almost like they stop being children.
Can we do something to give them the illusion of childhood again? Yes, and some of the most popular programs with this goal in mind aim to “grant wishes” to children. But what other benefits do these programs offer children?
“Overcoming difficulties makes us heroes.”
Granting wishes to hospitalized children also helps the family
Not only do hospitalized children suffer, their families also experience hardship. They enter a period governed by anxiety, stress, and sadness due to how concerned they are for the child. But it’s very important for parents to offer emotional support to their children, even if they feel bad.
Wish fulfillment programs can help family members achieve this. First, they facilitate communication between the parents and their child, as the child must tell them their wish. Planning the wish together helps the parents talk about their child’s illness and life. This helps strengthen family ties.
In addition, it serves as a communication tool to allow them to share their feelings with each other. It favors the process of accepting the disease. But beyond that, these programs also offer some relief from everything that comes from being hospitalized. In other words, they allow the family to enjoy spending time together again.
“Well-healed fractures make us stronger.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-
Granting wishes: One more way for children to recover the illusion of childhood
When adults are hospitalized, they feel that their life is disrupted. The same happens to little ones. At their stage of life, it’s essential that they feel loved and integrated into the environment that surrounds them. Hospitalization gets in the way of this.
Therefore, it’s normal for hospitalized children to feel different from others because of their illness. When they spend so much time in a medical environment, they may stop feeling like children. They can’t partake in the normal activities of this stage of development.
Kids must have hope when they’re hospitalized. Programs that grant wishes offer this to pediatric patients. They hope that what they desire will come true. This inspires enthusiasm and a desire to live, which is so fundamental to keep them going.
The importance of positive emotions in hospitalized children
Hospitalized children’s emotions are often very negative. Anxiety, anger, or sadness can be quite prevalent in their day to day lives. Little ones often don’t know how to handle these emotions.
They can also suffer from self-esteem and insecurity problems. The little ones know this process of hospitalization makes them different from others. They also can’t follow their normal daily routine nor play with their friends like they used to.
Therefore, it’s important to recognize that positive emotions generate when wishes are granted. This balances the child’s emotional states. Thus, their emotional well-being improves and they feel like a child again. And, most importantly, it helps reduce their suffering. Also, it can help make sure they face the disease with more enthusiasm and optimism.
“Life’s blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed by the fire of enthusiasm.”
-Norman Vincent Peale-