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Child like scribbled speech bubbles with being drawn with a crayon—there is a hand holding a crayon in the bottom left of the image.

5 Tips From My 5-Year-Old About Migraines 

My son is my guru. Over his little lifespan, my 5-year-old has taught me more about living with my migraines than any adult, self-help book, or fortune cookie. I’m thankful everyday for his nuggets of wisdom, because they come from a pure, unbiased place inside his heart. Here are some of my kid’s best tips I’ve collected over the years.

It will be okay

My migraine was coming. Along with a boiling pain, it also carried with it the guilt that I wouldn’t be able to be a mother to my son. Holding back tears, I told my then 4-year-old and husband that my head was hurting. “It will be okay,” his small voice told me. Those words removed my guilt and reminded me that even though my migraines aren’t okay, I will be.

I’ve got you

My brain was boiling, and I couldn’t move. My family tip-toed into the darkened room to offer their support. That’s when my son pulled the bedcovers up to my shoulders and whispered, “I’ve got you.” I felt his compassion wash over me, and I replayed his words until my migraine abated. I can still hear his soft voice breathe that healing phrase. I use it as a mantra when I have exceptionally bad migraines. When suffering from migraine pain, it definitely helps to have someone who’s “got you.”

Sending love

I’m not always good a sharing my disorder. I keep aspects of my migraines to myself, but this further isolates me in a condition that’s already isolating. My son reminded me that finding support is key when he spontaneously declared, “You know how I can help my mom feel better? By sending her love.” His love is truly magical, and it’s good to remember to reach out and ask for help from all the others that love me, too.

Let it go

I was feeling down about dealing with a bad migraine run when my son decided to serenade me. He’d been Frozen with love for the song Let It Go, and the joy he had while singing, combined with the lyrics, brought me back to a moment where I had no migraine. Wait, what? Clearly, I needed to let it go and enjoy this pain-free moment with my son.

You will feel better

Some days all the medicine, cold compresses, and prayers to Chris Pine simply won’t work to stop my oncoming migraine. Once the pain starts, the only thing I crave (besides crackers and vanilla milkshakes) is the knowledge that the pain will subside. My little guy is great at reminding me that, “Mom, you will feel better.” He’s right. The height of my pain will subside, and I’ll be able to rejoin the world once more.

My little guru continues to offer me great wisdom on a daily basis. I hold it close because his honest viewpoint provides me perspective when I’ve lost mine. Living with migraines is no fun, but living with my son definitely is.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • bookseller
    1 week ago

    One of my greatest fears was that my boys would only remember their childhood as a series of my maladies. Instead they are caring compassionate young men. I’m so impressed w/ your young man. You are doing a fabulous job.

  • Tonilyn Hornung author
    7 days ago

    Hi there! I can’t thank you enough for your kind comment. It genuinely touched me. As a mother, I too worry about my son remembering me as a “sick mom,” and my little guy’s compassion helped me see that he only sees me–not my condition. Thank you for sharing your parenting journey as well! Best to you!

  • LAnnSmith
    2 weeks ago

    My son was sure that only he knew how to bring the correct cold washcloth for my forehead. I have many memories of him carefully placing one on my head and then a quick kiss before he was off to play. He’s almost 40 now and a loving compassionate person. I think growing up with my pain helped make him that way.

  • Tonilyn Hornung author
    2 weeks ago

    Hello there! What a special memory to keep close, and thank you so much for sharing it here. I love hearing compassionate stories such as these–they warm my heart.:) I also agree that my migraines may have contributed to my son having a greater awareness of how others are feeling. All the Best!

  • DinaMay
    2 weeks ago

    This is the sweetest thing I’ve ever read! Thank you for sharing.

  • Tonilyn Hornung author
    2 weeks ago

    Wow! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to reach out! Best to you! 🙂

  • LizW
    2 weeks ago

    My sons are older, but so kind. I remember my little one bringing me a Coke because that’s what he liked. Thankful for wonderful family support.

  • Tonilyn Hornung author
    2 weeks ago

    Aw, that’s so sweet! Thank you for sharing! Family support is certainly a help when suffering from a migraine…best to you! 🙂

  • Macbeck
    2 weeks ago

    How precious! While I was raising my children as a single mom they, too, were great support. My daughter would stay home to “take care of mom” when I was in bed; they rigged up a “call bell” that rang in the living room so I wouldn’t have to get out of bed to get or ask for something.
    Yes, our children can teach us so much.

  • Tonilyn Hornung author
    2 weeks ago

    Hi there! Thank you for sharing your sweet story about your children setting up a “call bell” so you wouldn’t have to get out of bed when you had a migraine. That is so very thoughtful! I love hearing stories like that! Best! 🙂

  • Crystal.Harper
    2 weeks ago

    This is the sweetest article I’ve ever read on here! It’s amazing how much we can learn from children. It really reminds us what’s truly important. I can’t love this enough.

  • Tonilyn Hornung author
    2 weeks ago

    Hi Crystal, thanks so much for saying it! It’s amazing to watch my little guy move through life with no preconceptions about how it should be. I agree–we truly can learn so much from children. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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