Gransnet forums

Care & carers

Shared care of Grandson while his Dad recovers from surgery

(11 Posts)
ored4 Tue 08-Jan-19 17:52:39

Our son is currently going through a divorce and soon to have kidney surgery for suspected cancer. He has joint custody of his three year old son. In order to maintain normality for our grandson, the aim is keep to his routine as much as possible. We will therefore be looking after both our son and grandson, during custody times, in our son's home following his operation. We have been close to him since he was born and have a strong and loving relationship but I anticipate this could possibly be an anxious time for such a young child. So far I've found limited advice on line and would appreciate any first hand tips from those of you who may have experienced something similar.

Luckygirl Tue 08-Jan-19 18:04:02

Not been in that situation, and I am sorry to hear that your son is so unwell.

I wish you lots of luck with this challenge - it is wonderful that your GS has a close relationship with you and I am sure you will be a rick for him.

MissAdventure Tue 08-Jan-19 18:14:27

Children are very resilient, so I'm sure that staying with you will become the new normal quickly.
You can explain that they're with you because his daddy isn't well and needs some help.
I'm sorry you're faced with this.
My grandsons stayed living with their mum in very difficult circumstances, and it was just a way of life for them.
Sending you every good wish. thanks

notanan2 Tue 08-Jan-19 18:18:29

Visit the hospital "for fun" before dad goes in
Pop in to the coffee shop for some cake. Then when dad goes in he is not going to a mysterious scary place.

Some hospitals host children's fun days with tours that make hospitals less scary.

He might have drains and cathether and drips, discuss this in advance (or even better make a teddy with tubes and bandages) Although a 3 yr old may not be allowed on a cancer ward anyway. Find out the visiting restrictions in advance.

Role play being gentle and caring with ted. 3 year olds tend to jump up on you when you are ill/injured.

If they do visit have a special toy or book that stays in hospital with dad that they can share on a visit.

Do not hide any of it they will know SOMETHING is happening and if you play it down and keep it from them that just makes it more scary. 3 year olds are very literal so if you tell them the facts they accept them.

megan123 Tue 08-Jan-19 18:30:16

So sorry to hear what is happening in your family ored4. As MissAdventure says children are very resilient, and the post from notanan2 (what a lovely helpful post) gives you lots of ideas.

With every good wish x

sodapop Tue 08-Jan-19 19:22:16

I'm sorry to hear of your son's illness too ored4 I hope things go well for him.
I can't add any more to the very good information from notanana2 apart from being as honest as is realistic for such a young child. I have been in this situation and your grandson will need your love and to be able to talk about his Dad.
All good wishes to you and your family.

mcem Tue 08-Jan-19 19:44:52

I've often looked after my 2 DGC during mum's frequent and sometimes lengthy hospital stays over the last few years. They're older than yours but even when younger, coped very well.
He 's clearly happy in your home so that familiarity will help enormously. Excellent idea to visit hospital in advance. A treat in the cafe with a promise of another when you visit daddy?' Helping' is good too. You'll certainly find jobs for him.
My two very quickly became accustomed to catheters and a stoma.
I am constantly amazed by the resilience of children. Be honest at his level. You will learn how to split your focus between your two boys but give yourself a break too. "Granny is tired so let's sit down together and have a drink and a biscuit!"
Teddy sounds an excellent idea. Maybe a little doctor kit - with bandages and a stethoscope - so he can look after Ted ( and maybe daddy too)? Good luck with everything and hoping the op goes well.

notanan2 Tue 08-Jan-19 20:02:26

This is pricey and I'm sure you can get cheaper versions (although melissa and doug are great quality) but he will overhear the word "kidneys" a lot so this sort of thing (or something from the library) might help to demystify it

Magnetic Human Body Play Set: Classic Toys - Magnetic Dress-Up Sets

M0nica Wed 09-Jan-19 17:34:28

There are many books available for children in this situation, for them to read or have read to them and to advise carers.

I googled the following search Books small children sick parents and got pages of such books. Your local library will also probably have suitable books you can borrow.

PECS Wed 09-Jan-19 17:46:44

Do Macmillan have any advice & support for families of cancer patients?

MissAdventure Wed 09-Jan-19 17:49:57

Good luck with that one.
I have heard that they can be excellent though.