Tips to Get Your Husband Up to Speed on Food Allergies

dad-grocery-shopping

Many times mothers of children with food allergies are frustrated with their husbands because they don’t feel like their husband is on the same page when it comes to managing their child’s food allergies.

They often complain that their husband doesn’t seem to understand the serious nature of managing food allergies. Dads have been known to do things like buy foods at the grocery store without reading the label, order pizza at a restaurant without informing the staff of their kids’ allergies, or they may even forget what some of their kids’ allergies are.

It’s easy to see how this might be frustrating. Instead of blowing a gasket and losing your temper with your husband, try to look for ways to remedy the problem. Perhaps your husband is weak at auditory processing (or maybe he’s a selective listener) and would prefer to have things written down.

Whatever the case may be, it is very important that the two of you approach managing food allergies as a team. If you and your husband are not on the same page, it can feel like you are managing your child’s food allergies alone and that is a very heavy weight to carry by yourself.

Do your best to educate your husband on food allergies. I know it’s easier than it sounds, but be patient and make sure that your husband is knowledgeable and informed about your child’s food allergies. Generally speaking, it is often the mother who takes the child to their allergy appointments, so as a mother, it makes perfect sense that you would have more opportunity to learn the ins-and-outs of your child’s food allergies.

Here a few things you can do to get your husband up to speed:

  • Invite your husband to come along to allergy appointments. If this is not possible, take notes so that you can share important information with him. You may even want to take pictures so that he has a better idea of what goes on during testing and follow-up appointments.
  • Have your husband create a list of questions that he would like to ask the doctor. Even if he is unable to attend the allergy appointments, this is a way in which he can still express his concerns, get his questions answered, and be an active member of the team.
  • Give dad periodic “continuing education.” Sit down with your husband periodically to review your child’s allergies, safety precautions (like reducing the risk of exposure and carrying epinephrine), your child’s medications, how to recognize an allergic reaction, and your child’s emergency allergy plan. Often times, dads don’t get as much practice citing their kids allergies and managing them to the extent that mothers do on a daily basis, so they often appreciate the updates.
  • Practice effective communication.  As I always say, good communication skills are a must when it comes to managing food allergies. Be direct with your husband so that he doesn’t have to guess what you would like him to do. I often used to expect my husband to know what I wanted him to do and I would get upset when he didn’t figure it out on his own or didn’t do it they way that I wanted. You can avoid that trap by telling your husband what you want him to do and how he can help out. You may need to tell him more than once and you may need to write it down, record a message, draw a picture, or communicate it a number of different ways before he gets it; we all process information in different ways. Most men do actually want to help out and be an awesome husband and father; they just need a little (or a lot of) guidance sometimes.
  • Create lists. Even after following the steps above, when it comes to grocery shopping, your husband still may not be the same level of “food allergy pro” you are and that’s why lists are your friend. If you want your husband to go shopping, create a list and make it specific. Include brand names, flavors, sizes, quantities, color, and even a picture, if you need to. You cancreate a master list and  print out copies ahead of time to make it more convenient. Just mark off the items you don’t need at the time. He will eventually become more familiar with items, but if not, he always has a list he can refer to.

I would love to hear how you and your hubby manage food allergies together and what works for you. Feel free to leave a comment below.

About Tiffany deSilva

Hi I'm Tiffany deSilva, MSW, CPC, CHC, Founder of BrightFire Living, LLC. I am a social worker, speaker, author, certified health, wellness and lifestyle coach, certified green living coach and toxic-free consultant. I am passionate about helping women like you to detox each area of your life, safeguard your family's health, and live life fully charged and completely lit up! I am on a mission to empower women and families who are managing food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and other modern chronic health conditions to live a safe, happy, and healthy life that truly lights your fire!

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Great tips Tiffany! It’s so important for couples to work as a team, especially when minding a child’s allergies.

  2. Great tips for husbands or any close family members learning to handle children with children’s allergies.

  3. Great Ideas! I always think “I’ll have to do it” But this could make life easier.

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