Situation Food Allergy: "I hate my allergy..."

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Situation Food allergy: What would you do?

Your high school daughter comes home from school, drops her backpack on the ground and storms up to her room. She says "Hi" on her way up the steps. Well, you think it was a "Hi." It might have been a grunt. 

Knowing something is wrong, you make your way upstairs, knock on her door and enter. She is sitting in the corner of the room.

"What's wrong?" you ask.

She immediately shuts you down.

"I don't want to talk about it, mom," she says, staring off at a distance. 

You sit silently with her a bit. You've been here before and know she just needs you near. After a few minutes, she turns towards you.

"I hate my allergy," she whispers, as a single tear falls. "Why can't I just be like everyone else? Why me?"

You move your chair closer to her. Lately, she's been talking about how her food allergy makes her feel different. Is today's outburst about the allergy? Did something else happen with friends, and she's just blaming her allergy? Either way, you are concerned. 

You put your hand on her shoulder just as you begin to say...

 

A child with a food allergy will inevitably begin asking the "why me?" question. What do you say when a child asks, "Why can't I be like everyone else?" How does your answer change depending on the age of the child?