Teaching My Son to Take Responsibility for His Life

Joe MacDonald avatar

by Joe MacDonald |

Share this article:

Share article via email
chronic pain in children | Hemophilia News Today | Main graphic for column titled

Over the past few years, my youngest son has developed pain in joints that were damaged by internal bleeding episodes. As a result, he struggles some days to walk due to an arthritis-like ache.

His hematologist prescribed the medicine Celebrex (celecoxib) to help with inflammation, which decreases some of his discomfort. When he takes the medication, he experiences some relief and can move around without a cane or crutches.

However, my 15-year-old son, “MacDonald the Younger,” fails to take Celebrex consistently. I explain that the pills look great in the bottle, but they are useless unless he ingests them. I tell my stinky boy, “For the medicine to benefit you, you must do your work.”

Somewhere along the line, he must take control of his treatment, be responsible for his care, and do the right thing. He must show his parents that he cares more about his medical issues than they do.

Recommended Reading
mental health/hemophilianewstoday.com/HFA offers new wellness courses

HFA Tackles Mental Health ‘Head-on’ With New Well-being Courses

As our children have grown older, I’ve assumed that they would take over their needs with as much passion and attention as their parents demonstrated during their early years. I never realized that my youngest son would show little to no concern about proper dosing and continued prophylactic treatment. I wonder, “How will he survive college?”

While I’ve immediately addressed my son’s need to take full responsibility for his treatment protocols, I believe the major life lesson he must learn is the importance of taking an active role in every facet of his life. No one will magically appear to hold him by the hand and make his choices for him. His future happiness depends on accepting his role as his own decision-maker and caretaker.

Empowering MacDonald the Younger to assume responsibility for his actions is not easy; it requires patience and understanding. As his parent, I must offer grace and maintain a willingness to walk alongside him, gently handing over the responsibility of managing his healthcare and daily life struggles.

Handing my boy the baton is difficult but necessary. I’m equipping him with what he needs to navigate the world. He alone can do the work to ensure an excellent quality of life.

Sometimes, when I see a failure to manage his day-to-day life, I worry that he won’t chart his best course, but I know I must let go. If he struggles, he must weigh the consequences of his actions.

For now, I will sit back and let him choose whether he will take his dose of Celebrex. I will let him determine how much pain he endures as he navigates the demands of high school. The best time he can learn lessons is right now, while he lives in my house. Then, I can talk with him and point out ways to respond when he experiences difficulties with treatment or daily living.

Maybe my stinky boy can learn that he is not alone in dealing with hemophilia and the world. If I play my cards right, MacDonald the Younger will realize that his mother and father stand beside him, hoping to be the support he needs. He’ll learn that we stand in his corner, ready to battle any obstacle he faces. Together, we form a mighty MacDonald tribe, supporting one another on our journeys.

Today, we face the need for Celebrex; tomorrow, we conquer the world’s demands.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.