How do you explain Mom having surgery to a 4.5 year old?

Shannon - posted on 07/29/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )




I am about to have thyroid surgery and have no idea how to explain this to my 4 1/2 year old son. I will have to stay overnight in the hospital and will come home with a 3 to 5 inch incision on my throat. Is there anyone out there who has gone through something similar? How did you explain it to your child?


Casey - posted on 07/29/2010




Just be honest with him, but avoid telling him to much, my mum had this surgery when I was 7 and I was told far to much and as a result I was horrified and very stressed out.
Just tell him your going to see the magic doctor and you have to stay over night so he can make you all better, don't talk about surgery or having your throat cut or anything like that cause he'll just panic, if he notices your scar just tell him that it's a part of the magic spell and it will eventually disappear like magic too, just keep reasurring him that your fine. The worst thing for me when my mum had this surgery was being taken into the hospital not long after the surgery and she was still kind of out of it and she was hooked up to machines, it was really stressful for me so if you can avoid him seeing you in that kind of state then you might save yourself alot of question and tears from him. Goodluck with everything and hope your surgery goes well :)


View replies by

[deleted account]

Oh the other suggestion I had is lots of bookshops have great kids' stories about going to hospital that demystify the idea without scaring the pants off them- that might help?

[deleted account]

I agree with Casey, i know some kids whose mother chose to explain her having a scheduled c-section as "mummy's getting cut open with a big knife" and these kids lost the plot. Dont mention knives or cuts in anyway and if notices the scar afterwards and asks just say something like that's where the Dr fixed your sore throat- not strictly the truth but at that age he doesnt need the whole story.

JuLeah - posted on 07/29/2010




Explain that Mama is sick and the doctors will make you better. Explain that, not when he gets sick with the flu, this sickness means you get to go to the hospital for a night; maybe take him for a visit so he can see where you will be .... the doctors will take care of you while ??? will be taking care of him.

Then you will come home, maybe be tired and need a lot of naps for a few days, but it will all be fine.

While you are gone, he can make you a get well card if he is missing you and maybe you can leave him a letter or a new color book (doctors) or a new puzzle he can open and play with while you are gone.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms