Resources for parents to get through the challenges.

  1. Home
  2. Parenting

35 Words of Encouragement For a Sick Child and Their Parents

Waking up to a sick child is definitely not a day on the part. My littlest was up at promptly one in the morning last night, and she was covered in vomit.

You know that thing that children do that involves them sitting up before puking? My oldest two did it. The littlest doesn’t. She somehow vomits laying down, so you can imagine how pleasant that is in the middle of the night. 

With her recent bout of illness, I got quite a few words of encouragement from people for both myself and her. Words of encouragement for moms and sick kids can help them through the period of their little one being sick. 

When a parent has a child that is chronically ill from a medical condition, they are especially in need of words of encouragement. So is their child. Your kind words can easily help both of them feel better. 

Avoid using cliche phrases in cards. This is a nice thought, but it doesn’t send a heartwarming message. Instead, you want the recipient to know that you are there for them. 

Encouraging Words To Say To Their Parents (And What Not To Say)

When a child is sick, it can take a toll on parents. Their entire life is disrupted for the time being. It can be even harder on parents if they are sick too. These words of encouragement for parents will help make them smile, and remind them that someone is always there. 

1. Let Me Know If You Need Anything

Only say this one if you really mean it. When a parent has a sick child, it can be amazing to have someone sit with the little one for an hour while they grab groceries. Even better, it’s wonderful when someone simply brings you what you need. This is also just a nice reminder that someone is there. 

Don’t say this one if you’re not ready to commit, though. Make sure that you’re willing to pitch in and help them out before offering. 

2. What’s Your Favorite Dinner?

Some people have a hard time reaching for help. Even if you offer, and tell them to give you a call, it doesn’t mean that they will. Instead, simply offer a helping hand if you can.

Ask them what their family likes for dinner, and drop it off. Make a few casseroles that they can throw in the freezer. Send them some DoorDash as a gift. It’ll help them out, and they’re sure to appreciate it. 

3. I’ll Pick You Up A (Insert Something They Need)

Some people don’t need you to bring by a few casseroles. When my grandson was in the NICU, we needed gas cards to drive back and forth to a hospital that was forty minutes away, and home, every day. People volunteered to stop by with a gas card, and it helped immensely. 

If you know that your friend needs something, in particular, take it to them.

Moms that are rushing to and from the hospital or busy taking care of a child can always use some dry shampoo. Cleaning supplies are another great option. Gift cards to grocery stores or gas stations will be appreciated. 

4. I’d Love To Babysit If You Need A Hand

A babysitter is another thing that parents can use. When you’re busy taking care of several children, and one commands almost all of your attention, it can be overwhelming.

You have to do everything for the sick child, and manage to make dinner, clean the house, read stories, etc. for the other children. The more kids there are, the more stressful it is. Take a child for the night to give your friend a tiny bit of a break. 

5. Let Me Know If You Need Help With Housework

This is another great way to let your friend know that you’re there if they need something. The kids always come first, so that means the laundry piles up.

The dishes become a mountain on the counter. Offer to pitch in so that your friend can focus on tending to their sick child, and so that the house doesn’t become a mess. 

6. I’m So Sorry

Sometimes, you simply don’t know what else to say. This is especially true if your friend’s child is very sick or just received a terminal diagnosis. This lets them know that you feel for them. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to show them that you’re there. 

7. I’m Here For You

There’s a difference between a casual “let me know if you need anything” and telling someone “I’m here for you.” When you let them know that you’re there, it truly touches their heart.

It reminds them that they aren’t alone and that they have a friend. Sometimes, a person just needs to know that they have someone there. 

8. You’ve Got This!

Sometimes, those words of encouragement are what a person needs more than anything. When a mom feels like everything is crashing around her, she needs someone in her corner saying that she can do it. We all need that reminder at times. 

9. Stay Strong

While this might sound a bit like something anyone would say, it’s not. It’s a reminder to a parent that they are a strong person. They’ll remember those words when they are feeling their weakest. Even though it sounds cliche, these words are not spoken nearly enough. 

10. I Just Wanted To Let You know That I’m Thinking Of You

It can make a person’s day to let them know that you’re thinking of them. You can send this as a quick text. Calling just to tell them that you’re thinking of them makes this a little less cliche and more personal. 

11. Let Them Know You’re Praying For Them

If both you and the parents are religious, this is a wonderful way to let them know that you are there for them. There is nothing more powerful than prayer. 

12. Ask About Their Child

It’s great to let parents know that you’re there for them. However, it’s also a wonderful idea to let them know that you care about their little one. Ask them how they are doing. Pick them up a get well present. Get to know their child too. 

13. Take The Time To Learn About The Medical Condition

When my son was a baby, he was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis 1. It’s a rare genetic condition that most people haven’t heard of.

I felt like people saying they would pray for us was more of a cop-out because they didn’t know what else to say and didn’t want to talk about it at the time. It was just cliche to me. 

There were a lot of people that asked what the condition was. They wanted to know what the doctors said would happen, and what may happen to my son. Those conversations meant the world to me.

If your friend has a child with an unfamiliar condition, take the time to learn about it. It shows that you’re genuinely interested and care. 

14. Avoid Saying It’s Going To Get Better

Simply don’t, unless you know for a fact that it is. It’s great to have hope, but that isn’t the case for every condition. If a child has a genetic condition, it’s not going to change. It might not even drastically improve. In fact, it can get dramatically worse over time. 

This also applies to common illnesses. For example, a child with the flu might wind up in the hospital. They need your encouraging words, not cliche words that might not be true. It’s important to let them know that you are there. Strive to send that message instead. 

15. Give Them A Card

Cards are a wonderful option. Parents can re-read them during tough times. When they do, they’ll remember that you’re there for them. 

16. Don’t Say It’s A Part Of God’s Plan

Maybe it is. However, no one with a sick or dying child wants to hear that. They need your empathy and support. This phrase is not the way to give them that. Instead, focus on how you can be there for them. If you don’t know what to say, avoid this saying. Say “I’m so sorry” instead. 

17. Offer To Do Things No One Thinks Of

Offering to bring meals, gift cards, and babysitting are great ideas. These are always appreciated. There are quite a few things outside the box that no one else will think of though. 

Offer to look up some things about the medical condition to help both you and the parents learn more. Parents that suddenly have to travel a lot can benefit from a Triple A membership that offers roadside assistance. Make sure they’ve got a spare tire and a jack handy. Pre-pay for an oil change for them. Yardwork is another great idea. 

18. Don’t Say A Word. Just Help. 

mowing grass

Sometimes, that offer to help will be declined. Sometimes, people don’t feel right accepting help or they don’t want sympathy. Instead, just make a mental note of the areas being neglected and just jump in. Show up and mow their grass one day. 

19. Just Listen To Them

Learning about a new medical condition can be overwhelming. Sometimes, people just need to vent. They need to talk about the condition, and how horrible it can be. During those times, they need someone to listen to them more than anything. 

20. Avoid Talking About Yourself Or Your Child

I get why we do this. I am guilty of it on occasion too. I do it so that they know that I can relate to them. When one child has the flu, I talked about when my son had the flu.

However, this doesn’t help you empathize better with someone else. It can also make the parent you’re talking to feel as though you don’t care or are trying to make the situation about yourself. Instead, focus on them and their little one. 

21. Don’t Say There’s Always A Silver Lining

Even if somehow something good can come from a child being sick, no one wants to hear that or think about it. Instead, they need someone to be there. 

What To Say, Do, And Avoid When A Child Is Sick

Children that are sick need a special kind of love and care. The same things that apply to parents don’t always apply to their kids. For example, a five-year-old boy won’t have the same appreciation as their parents will if you mow the grass. Consider these things instead. 

22. A Get Well Present

My son still has the plushies that he was given at Children’s Hospital years ago. (He almost had to have brain surgery.) It meant the world to him when people he didn’t even know came to bring him get-well presents.

It was also great for me as a single mother because I couldn’t be in the room with him non-stop. They really helped make up for that, and it made the entire experience a positive experience. 

23. Give Them Something They Can Do

Baby girl with computer laptop, mobile phone

Coloring books and handheld video games are a great idea. Older children might also like activity books with mazes or word searches they can do. Books to read are another option.

There’s nothing more boring than laying in bed watching television all day. Help give them something to do and give them a get well present at the same time. 

24. Listen To Them

Sometimes, kids need to vent just like their parents. Other times, children don’t feel comfortable venting to their parents. This could be because they know that their parents are worried.

During those times, children need someone to listen to them. Make sure that you lend them an ear whenever you can. 

25. I Hope You Feel Better Soon

If the little one doesn’t have a terminal illness or genetic condition, they can use a few kind words too. A quick hug and letting them know that you’re thinking about them is a great idea. 

26. Video Chat To Ask Them How They Are Feeling

My kids love it when someone asks them directly how they are feeling instead of asking me. If you don’t have time to stop by, consider calling or a quick video chat. 

27. Give Them A Hug

Sometimes, the best words are no words at all. Wrap your arms around them and tell them that you love them. There are few things more comforting than a hug. 

28. Quiet Play

Little ones that are sick might not feel up to wrestling, but they still need love and attention. Play a board game with them. Read them a story. Color pictures together. These activities won’t overstimulate them and don’t require a lot of energy. 

29. You’re So Brave!

Being sick can be tough. It can be scary for small children too. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the flu or something a bit more serious, remind them that they are brave. Make sure that you tell them that you’re proud of them for being so strong too!

30. Ask Them If They Want Anything

If they have a favorite drink, pick some up for them. Kids that have a sore throat will enjoy their favorite flavor of ice cream. Instead of asking their parents what they want for the kids, ask the kids themselves. They are always full of their own thoughts and opinions. 

31. We’ll Get Through This Together

Let the child know that they aren’t alone and that you’re there for them. If their parents have other children to take care of, they might feel alone at times. A few words to let them know that they are never alone are always wonderful. 

In Conclusion

If you know someone that has a sick child, finding the right words to say to a parent of a sick kid can be tough. It can be even tougher to find the perfect thing to say to a sick child. These ideas will let them both know that you are there for them.