Pseudo Munchausen parents... - page 3

by wooh 11,566 Views | 43 Comments

Anybody have a patient's parent that seems to be living off the attention they get from having a sick child? Not a Munchausen by Proxy parent that actually hurts their child so that they can get attention for having a sick... Read More


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    I don't work with children in nursing but i know people like this. I feel like it is usually the parents who are incredibly overbearing on their children. They are with them 24/7 and THRIVE on adult interaction. So its like their child is sick, there is another adult who is showing they care and taking care of them. On top of that giving the parents some attention they are craving. They thrive on adult interaction and someone they can hold a conversation with. Something to talk about other than crayons and poop.
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    Quote from schooldistrictnurse
    My understanding of fragile child is parents who have legitimately been through a trauma or severe illness with a child and then can't "let go" and exaggerate every symptom and overprotect the child.
    ^OK...that does sound like what my pedi clients' mom has.

    I think we may see it more than we can identify it at times...especially in FTT, which the client had in my post...He's at 75th percentile...tall, heck, I tripped over his foot once lol. He is no longer FTT physically, he is doing well emotionally, but in some aspects he is not, and I truly believe it is because of his mother's unwillingness to focus on that her child is thriving and allow him to have the freedom to do that. *SIGH*
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    We see something similar in the ER a lot, because many parents bring kids in for minor things convinced that it's dire. Sometimes they get pretty nasty about us doing "nothing" for the child or the long wait for their super sick kid. These parents mostly just seem dumb and ineffectual. Sorry to be blunt. Oh, your kid puked once? Most children survive a puking and go on to lead normal lives.

    I've had less experience with sick kids whose parents seem to really enjoy the attention from the illness though, which I think has to do with the type of units I've worked on. Do you get a lot of chronically ill and super sick kids? As far as how to deal, my favorite way of dealing with all patient related frustrations: tell stories with your coworkers. Seriously, this helps me decompress, adds some humor to the situation, lets me bond with my coworkers. And then you just keep on keeping on, you know? Maybe a change of unit if it starts to get to be too much to keep things fresh.
    KelRN215 likes this.
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    Some people are drama seekers and like having craziness in their lives. Or as I affectionately call them "drama llama ding dongs."

    If the parent can't be reasoned with or educated, then stop trying and instead be honest and encouraging with the child. At some point he/she will grow up and it may help them not buy into the drama.
    NutmeggeRN, wooh, and mmc51264 like this.
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    These are parents that are over reactive after a catastrophic event has occurred to their child. They can't let go of their anxiety and over react to all thing that interact with their child. I have also seen this in parents that have had terrible experiences with infertility, miscarriage and IVF so that with the infant and child they are basket cases with any injury or illness.

    These children tend to be timid and fragile....fearful of common things.
    wooh likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from CDEWannaBe
    Or as I affectionately call them "drama llama ding dongs."
    This is EXACTLY it!
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    Quote from CDEWannaBe
    Some people are drama seekers and like having craziness in their lives. Or as I affectionately call them "drama llama ding dongs."

    If the parent can't be reasoned with or educated, then stop trying and instead be honest and encouraging with the child. At some point he/she will grow up and it may help them not buy into the drama.
    LOL @ "drama llama ding dongs"!

    I have bypassed parents by being a strong advocate towards the pt; I remain reality-based at all times; for medically fragile kids, I find myself more empowering the pt; assisting the parent realize the "normalcy" part, especially development...most of the time, parents are receptive, most of the time, the children, regardless of the parent, the child is more receptive, which matters to me.

    I am sure when we think of our parents in hindsight, we may have reflected on the things that they have done and have dealt with them in our healthy way-at least I have.

    My current job in the PICU is really good on the interdisciplinary part from the nurses and the doctors in getting CM and or psych involved ASAP if there are issues; my frustration is more towards my previous job; which I currently do per-diem. They have a "hands-off approach" in dealing with this situation, especially where the mother is purposefully hindering normal development. That concerns me from a team approach standpoint. The team I work with really do our best; we have learned to focus on the pt and communicate with each other, which is helpful.

    The sad thing is that the mom was really active in helping with milestones, etc; then about almost 1 yr ago, she started making claims that he was getting sicker, and not growing, which was not the case...it was sudden, I think that is what surprised us the most.
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    What does everyone this of the ----'s journey Facebook pages? Sometime I feel like some of this parents are just thriving on number of 'likes' they are getting. I have encountered several recently.
  9. 2
    Quote from AMR21
    What does everyone this of the ----'s journey Facebook pages? Sometime I feel like some of this parents are just thriving on number of 'likes' they are getting. I have encountered several recently.
    I can't speak for every facebook page, but as a parent of a child with special needs (and intermittent blogger) I think that many parents really just need a vehicle to share updates about their child as well as to sort through the implications of what it means to have a special needs child. It can be a very socially isolating experience, and if getting "likes" on facebook is what gives them the strength and encouragement they need to carry on, more power to them. Not my style personally but I respect whatever works for them.
    xoemmylouox and umcRN like this.
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    Quote from AMR21
    What does everyone this of the ----'s journey Facebook pages? Sometime I feel like some of this parents are just thriving on number of 'likes' they are getting. I have encountered several recently.
    Some people don't want to have to email/call 10,000 people every time their kid is in the hospital or something. I think sites like caringbridge or CarePages are better than having a facebook page but I can see how people feel the need to share things. I think the facebook thing is less ok when the child is a teenager and may not want every detail of their illness broadcast to the world. What bothers me on facebook is when other parents make statuses/posts about other people's children... say Mom A posts "Janie has just been admitted and needs to have emergent surgery" and then Moms B, C, D, E and F are all posting 'Urgent prayers needed for Janie who had A, B, C, D, E, F, G things happen to her today and is going in for emergent surgery." Mom A was posting to share with her circle, not for everyone within six degrees of her to find out. Also when a child dies... it really bothers me to see parents whose kid has a similar or the same illness announcing the death of another child with their facebook status. And I see this fairly often.
    NutmeggeRN and umcRN like this.


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