Conversations with my three year old about Cerebral Palsy

Right now I’m holding my breath waiting for the first time Ella asks me why she’s different and what that means. I’ve become teary eyed reading others’ accounts of these talks, but we still have some time before that happens.

Buds, on the other hand is three and knows what’s up. He’s smart and empathetic. We’ve talked a few times about Ella and her Cerebral Palsy.

The first time, I explained to Buds that when she was born she had a booboo on her brain and that she may have trouble walking, or might not even walk at all. His response; “but I can hold her hand and help her walk.” Swoon.

Tonight, at dinner, Jason handed me Ella to hold and Braeden said, “I don’t like Ella, I like Raegan better!” And I asked him why he said that. It’s because Raegan can play with him and Ella can’t.  To be honest, that’s heartbreaking to me. I would give anything for her to be able to play with her brother and sister and have been hunting for a chair to help her do that.

I reminded him about what we talked about before, her brain injury, and how she needs and loves her big brother. He took her hand and said, “Ella, you’re my best friend.”

It will take him time to fully understand,  just like it will take most of us time to. But, we’re starting the conversation, and one day he’ll be able to tell anyone and everyone about Ella.

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The three minions!

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One thought on “Conversations with my three year old about Cerebral Palsy

  1. You have beautiful children with beautiful hearts. It will take time but everyone will come to their own point of understanding, whatever that is and it has different phases and meanings as we age and things change. I’m twenty and I don’t ever remember having this talk with my parents. I know that we didn’t use the words disability or handicap in any form until college when those become proper; we always just called it CP and I knew what it was to be able to explain it to others should it come up. There is comfort in that to me, I think my parents took the right approach. But do what works for you and your family, you can do it!

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