Tips for Parenting with RA | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Tips for Parenting with RA

Parenting with RA is something many people are spending more time on with the school closures from COVID-19. As a mom of five, I know how different things have been since my disease became full blown 14 years ago. If you’ve been reading RA Warrior the last 11 years (that’s right—it’s almost year 12!), you know I learned some of these things the hard way—but usually with a smile.

Parenting with a chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis can be even more challenging. When simple tasks become more difficult, parents with RA / RD may worry that their kids are missing out because of things they believe they “should” do for them. However, looking deeper at the question, we see that being a good or even a great parent with RA / RD is certainly within reach. What we need to focus on is what really matters and how to accomplish that. I hope you or a parent you know with a chronic illness will enjoy this encouraging article I recently published on Healthgrades.

Tips for Parenting with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Tips for parenting with RASome of the difficulties common with the disease can make living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and parenting especially challenging. From parents of toddlers who enjoy playing on the floor with their little ones to parents of teens who join camping trips, it’s usually tougher with RA. Extra patience with yourself plus a little thinking outside the box can help ease the stress of parenting with a chronic illness.

Here are a few RA parenting tips to get you started.

1. Focus on what really matters. It’s not whether you can play soccer (if you can’t any more), but that you share their interest—the joy of the game.
2. Accept a new normal. What really matters to a child? Is it a perfect parent who provides perfect home, meals and activities? Or is it a parent with whom you share a warm and caring relationship? According to researchers, accepting a new normal is part of the process of managing a chronic condition.

Click here to read the entire article on Healthgrades.

More Warrior Tips

Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/

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2 thoughts on “Tips for Parenting with RA

  • May 16, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Hi Kelly, I enjoy reading your post. I have had RD for 10 years and at my age, it has been a life changer and not for the good. May I suggest that you darken your font in the newsletters. I could not read your article from the Mayo Clinic, Rheumatologist Doctor, even with my 🤓.

    I would also like to know what you think of Seronegative RD. I wonder has anyone else gone from RD to Seronegative RD?

    Thanks for your tireless work in the area of RD.

    • May 18, 2020 at 10:36 am

      Hi Karen. I’m pretty sure you mean the blog’s feed which is sent by Google Feedburner (to people who sign up) and I’m not sure I can change it. My newsletters (haven’t sent one in a couple months) can be subscribed to here:
      There are several articles here on seronegative—I’ll go find a link to that search for you and put it below. You can also search anything with the searchbox. I use it all the time to find things for people.


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