Relationships Change17

Dad loves us like he always has but FTD makes it hard for him to show us. For example, he doesn’t like to go fishing with me anymore but my Uncle John takes me. I know Dad would want to go with us if he didn’t have FTD. Hanging out with Uncle John is pretty cool. It’s nice to have someone to hang out with who knows Dad and understands FTD without having to explain it to him.

FTD can change how family members act and treat one another. Someone with FTD may not play with you the same as before or talk to you as much. They may not seem interested in what you say or do and may not say nice things. They DO NOT do those things on purpose or to be mean. It is part of the disease.

The healthy parent will have more worries and more to do. They may feel tired a lot of the time or seem upset or sad.  You may worry about them and want to make them feel better. You can help in very important ways but you are NOT responsible for how your parent feels.

Remember that they are doing the best they can to show love and care for everyone in the family. This might mean that your healthy parent asks other relatives and trusted friends to help them. They may even hire someone to help take care of things around the house or to drive you to activities. That person may seem like a stranger at first but you can become more comfortable with time. Getting help around the house is one way your well parent shows that they love you. It might not be the same as spending time with your Mom or Dad but having extra people around can be helpful for everyone.

Members of the same family may react differently to the person with FTD. Your feelings will not be the same as your brother’s or sister’s.  Relatives who do not live with you may not see the same changes or symptoms in the person with FTD. Your experience is important even if others do not see things the same way.

Friendships may change, too. Some friends are more kind and understanding than others when a parent is sick. It’s good to be with kids who make you feel good about yourself and who are kind to others.

It can be hard to be around someone with FTD. You may not understand what they say or do, and they may get really angry at little things. If you feel like you don’t want to be around the person with FTD, don’t worry. These feelings are very normal and it does not mean you don’t love the person. 2

If you ever feel angry or scared by something the person with FTD does or says, tell an adult you trust. When you are able to ask for help, it shows that you are Super Smart and Super Strong.