Growing up with epilepsy adds an extra degree of difficulty to the already challenging feat of progressing from a child to a young adult. When children with epilepsy grow up and begin exercising independence and challenging boundaries, parents go through the process of accepting that their child is becoming an adult. This process can be difficult and fraught with concerns and clashes over health, sleep, diet and social life. Maintaining good communication during this time of change is important to establishing a place of compromise where both parent and child feel heard and respected.
Caroline Pratt was diagnosed with epilepsy at 8 years old. Now 17, Caroline has battled seizures and the physical and emotional impacts that come with them while navigating adolescence and early adulthood. Her mother, Ashleigh Henrichs, has provided love, support and guidance, but with Caroline now attending college and living away from home for the first time, both parent and child have had to make concessions and changes within their relationship.
On this episode of Seizing Life, we focus on how the relationship between parents and children with epilepsy evolves over time and the unique challenges that evolution brings. Caroline and Ashleigh also explore how parents can support their children’s independence in safe, supportive ways while providing advice for keeping lines of communication open. As the parent, how do you balance concern, guidance and support while also granting your child the necessary independence? As the child, how do you assert that independence while reassuring your parents that you are taking care of your health? The key is good communication. Hear how Caroline and Ashleigh are navigating these changes and maintaining a good mother-daughter relationship.
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