After ankle surgery, your child will probably be ordered by their podiatrist to stay off their feet while they heal. In addition to making sure that they get to their physical therapy sessions and don't get too behind at school, you'll have the task of keeping them in the house and resting a majority of the time throughout the recovery process. Here's what you can do to make the process more enjoyable for your child:
Enjoy Movie Marathon Nights
Your child is likely to feel restless at the end of a long day sitting around the house. So during the first week or two of their recovery from ankle surgery, consider getting the whole family together for movie marathons each night. You can plan family meals and movies together for evenings of fun that will help bring the family closer together and keep your child's mind off the fact that they're not mobile.
Let each child in the house choose one movie to watch and flip coins to determine which order the movies will be watched in. Order pizza, set up a taco bar, or sit down to enjoy homemade sub sandwiches while you watch your movies. Throw blankets and pillows added to the mix will help ensure that everyone stays comfortable throughout the evening.
Plan In-Home Play Dates
Because your child can't attend school or go outside and play with their friends for awhile after ankle surgery, it's a good idea to plan a few in-home play dates for them to enjoy until they're recovered. This will help them stay connected with their friends and give them an additional support system that they don't normally have at home. Ask a few of the parents to drop their kids off after school once or twice a week and plan some activities that the kids can do together while spending time at your place.
Collect and store puzzles, comic books, paint supplies, and art accessories at home so there is never a shortage of entertainment. If it's a weekend, turn the event into a slumber party and let the kids sleep in the living room so they can spend the night playing video games and watching movies – your child won't soon forget such a memorable time with their friends.
Manage an Incentive Program
If your child is like most, they have a hard time staying off their feet when they are supposed to be resting or healing. Implementing an incentive program may help keep them motivated to follow their podiatrist's orders and stay in bed or on the couch while they recover. An incentive program can also help keep them interested in any physical therapy they have to participate in.
Hang a whiteboard up on the wall and list all the recovery protocols your child is supposed to meet each day. When a protocol is met, draw a star in the empty space next to said protocol. If all the recovery rules are followed throughout the day, give your child a bonus star. At the end of the week, add the stars up and reward your child based on the number of stars they've earned. For instance, you can gift them with movie tickets for earning 25 stars, or a gift certificate to their favorite store for earning 150 stars.
Talk to your child's foot doctor for more help.