What to Tell Children when Facing a Diagnosis of Cancer
If you have children in your life, you already know that they tend to be creatures of habit who rely on their daily routine. There may be unexpected changes in their routine with your fight against cancer, and you may be concerned about the best way to talk to them about it. Whether you’re a parent or have children you love in your life, you probably already know how children can react to different types of stress. In order to set things on the right track, it’s best to be open and honest with them. If you have children in school, it’s also a good idea to inform your children’s teachers or other care providers that your children may be facing some tough challenges. Here are some informative tips to help the children in your life understand what is going on:
- Hold regular family meetings to discuss your diagnosis, how treatments are going, and what your doctors are telling you.
- If you are unable to go to your children’s special events—like games or school plays—have another parent tape the event so you can watch it with your children at a later date.
- Reassure children that you did not get cancer because of something they did. Also be sure to let them know that you cannot “catch” cancer like you can catch a cold.
- Make every effort to be there for the children in your life—as long as your doctor says it’s safe to do so. For the times you can’t be there, send along a good luck note to let them know that you care.
While it might take your children a little while to adapt, your honesty and love will help them through this difficult and challenging time.
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