Q: How do you get your children to do things they don’t want to do….?
A: make that activity ‘fun’!
Probably, if you have children yourself, you’ll understand this idea. Parents everywhere enthuse about green vegetables, brushing your teeth, keeping your bedroom tidy! We have to try to sell the activity in such a way to make it sound exciting and enjoyable for our children.
If your child has cystic fibrosis, there are many parts of daily treatment that are not fun, and let’s be honest, they’re plain boring for our children. Daily physiotherapy takes the most time to complete, and as such, it is usually a flashpoint for regular emotional outbursts for children and parents.
By the time your child is 10 years old you will have had to ‘sell the idea’ of doing treatment in 7260 different ways (allowing for Christmas day and your childs’ birthday as a ‘day off’ each year). Is this reasonable?
A parents of a CF child we have to entertain our children to ensure they stay engaged in completing the whole physiotherapy routine. For many CF children around 10 years of age, treatment routines may last between 15 and 45 minutes, repeated twice a day.
You will have spend 3630 hours (or 453 working days) continuously entertaining your child to encourage them whilst they do their treatment. You do this because you want them to focus on good technique and get most possible benefit from prescribed treatment. Is this reasonable?
After after 9 years of this routine, I felt that out situation was not reasonable, and something had to change. I also realised I had to make this change myself. So I decided that I had to find some way to make CF physiotherapy fun, in order to help my daughter and our family cope with this relentless burden of care.
One morning back in 2013, following another one and a half hour argument over physio with my daughter, I decided that I had to find a way to make daily physio into a fun activity. That was the seed of an idea that has become Playphysio.