5,664 members8,032 posts

Talking to small child about Daddy's injury

Hi everyone. I'm new to the group. My partner (36 years old fit and healthy) suffered severe hypoxic brain injury 6 weeks ago. We have a 3 1/2 yo daughter. We are very open and honest generally as a family and i am telling her what is appropriate at this stage. I'd really like to hear from anyone who has been/ is in a similar situation particularly having experience of talking to young children. Can provide more info in a PM. Thank you in advance. X

10 Replies

Children in my experience cope best with straight facts, at 6 weeks I assume it's still fairly unknown, as to outcomes.


Thanks. Yes we have absolutely no idea of how much recovery will be made but we are expecting him to be cared for as an inpatient in a specialist neuro rebilitation hospital. there is a very significant amount of global brain damage. He is not able to respond to commands but has regained limited awareness of surroundings and some movement in head, arms and legs. I'm hoping there may be someone out there who has gone through this kind of situation



My partner suffered a hypoxic brain injury over three years ago. He went through various odd stages before being discharged home early 2014. We're older, no young children to consider, so I don't have advice in that direction other than, in my opinion, it's best to be honest. ( I do have grandchildren who appear to have accepted the different person he has become, but I guess that's not the same as your daughter being there on a daily basis).

I know everyone recovers differently and it's very early to know how your partner will progress, but if I can help at all please feel free to pm me.



gardenrose my heart goes out to you. thankfully i wasnt in that position when i had my abi.

my daughter is an adult,

and although she finds my behaviour hard to accept sometimes, my wife explains thats the way i am now. ( my daughter lives and works in dubai ).

actually keep it simple, get the " professionals " to explain it to you, then have a with your daughters nursery teacher, get some ideas from there.

hope that helps. good luck and welcome to the group


Another coincidence - my daughter also lives in Dubai!! 😃


jhn62 sorry dont remeber seeing a post from you any where


My boys were 4 and 7 at the time of my brain injury. Dec 2015. The brain injury team got them a video clip to watch that helped. Ask at the hospital they should be able to source it for.you.


My wife had a massive brain injury when our children were 4 and 7. I was just very open with them in an age-appropriate way. It was really difficult. My 4 year old didn't really react how I thought it was almost like he didn't seem bothered! My 7 year old asked me if it was like Michael Schumacher which I said yes it was which he could relate to.

The reality of it all is my boys found it much harder a year or so later when they realised mummy wasn't the same mummy as before. They had quite a few sessions with child bereavement services, and they also found it very hard probably 3 years later when mummy eventually came home and things were very very difficult. It was and still is very hard going. I really hope things work out for you, I ended up having to put the children first. Also, i found it a benefit to keeping their pattern of life as normal as possible. Hope this helps.


Thank you Rob. I'm sorry to hear what you have had to deal with as I also saw your post regarding your new partner. We are 1.5 years post injury now and my partner is still minimally conscious and in a specialist hospital. My experience is exactly as you have described. She has just turned 5 and in the last few months there has been a big change - we have a lot of violence at bedtimes and she is not attending school at the moment as she refuses to be without me. She is now eperiencing the situation as the loss of her father but is so confused as she still sees that he is alive. She has been seeing him once a week but is now saying she doesnt want to and also doesnt want to see my inlaws as they discuss him in front of her. We are seeing a family therapist but I am also considering bereavement support. I would be interested in hearing your experiences of this is you hard willing to share? How did you talk to your smallest about the loss?

Best wishes


Hello, both of my boys got so clingy with me after the accident and to fare they still are. My youngest who is now 8 still really struggles even if I have to work day in Plymouth about an hour away. He always want to know where I am how long I will be etc etc he has for much better over time but it’s not been easy. My advice which worked for me was to try to keep everything as normal as possible ( not easy when your whole life has been turned upside down over night) my eldest boy who was 7 at the time did suffer with anxiety but again he’s got through it. It really was not easy! But just remember it gets better.

Both boys did struggle with visiting there mum in hospital as well so I kept it to minimum for a while. Until she got a bit better. I could write on forever with this! The hard part really came when she woke up and got into rehab where we really started seeing signs of a huge change in her. Sorry I sound all doom and gloom. Like I said before I tried to keep everything as normal as I could and made sure I made time for the boys and make sure you get 5 minutes to yourself as well because if you start going down hill then your daughter will struggle more.

1 like

You may also like...