“Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro
One way to grow your food allergy team is to let them know they are a part of your team. When I first began facilitating a food allergy support group for children, the kids made thank you certificates for the people who supported them. They held a ceremony where I received a big thank you poster and a special certificate for being a part of their team. Friends, teachers, grandparents, coaches, and community members were some of the recipients. We don’t always know the impact we make in other’s lives; this small act was meaningful to me and the others as evidenced by the smiles of delight that filled the room.
One of the exercises I do with children who come to my therapy office is “Who’s On Your Team” (WOYT). Kids need to know who is on their food allergy support team; the wider you cast your child’s security net, the more supported and less anxious your child will feel. You can learn more about this exercise in my book.
An equally important exercise is letting those on your team know they are important players for you. Once the child’s team is “drafted” I ask, “Do your teammates know they are part of your team? Showing your teammate you appreciate them taking the time to learn to read a label properly, use an epinephrine auto-injector, or asking about safe snacks is meaningful in ways they may not understand, so we work on communicating gratitude. You can do this by making gratitude cards, thank you notes, or simply saying thank you. You can also download free gratitude cards in the bonus link in my book.
This week, in honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, give your teammates a big high five, letting them know they are valuable players for you and your family!
How do you let your teammates know you appreciate them?