Talking to Children Regarding Cancer
A lot of people are afraid to mention the word ‘cancer’ to kids. You might not have the knowledge of what things to say if a person significant to your own kids has cancer.
In the event that you or somebody else they love has cancer, it is vital that you talk to your kids shortly following the diagnosis to develop trust and to assist them understand what is occurring. They’ll feel less fearful if they know you will always tell them what’s going on. Children feel frightened and alone when they have been told that “everything is good,” because they understand this is not accurate. They notice crying, whispering, changes in meal schedules and other family activities. Children have vivid imaginations and the things they envision are worse than reality.
Assure your kids that you love them, and make sure to constantly have regular conversations in the days and weeks after diagnosis. Allow any questions that they ask you and answer them truthfully.
How to Describe what is Cancer
What you say about cancer will vary determined by the age of your children. With younger children, do not get overly technical. Let them know that cancer is a thing that grows in the body and is not supposed to be there. It’s kind of like weeds in the garden. There are plenty of methods to do away with weeds (pulling, cutting, weed killer) and there are a lot of methods to take care of cancer (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, pills).
Clarify that occasionally you might be overly tired to play or snuggle. This doesn’t mean they should be distressed. It is natural and normal to feel disappointed if your parent or grandparent is too exhausted to play.
If you are likely to experience hair loss, tell the kids before it happens. Clarify that side effects like nausea, hair loss, and fatigue, are signs that the treatment is working.
In case your young ones ask whether you are going to die, do not offer false assurances. Instead, react by saying, “I’ve great physicians who are doing everything they are able to in order to make me feel well. ” In case your cancer is advanced, tell them you’ve great physicians that are doing their best to treat it. And that you will tell them how the treatment goes.
Suggestions for Helping Children Cope
It is OK to take the kids to the doctor’s visits with you if they want to go. It helps some children to see where you are going to get better. Clarify what’s happening to you. Consider giving younger kids a souvenir like surgical gloves or tongue depressors.
If worse days, like chemo days, consider having a special basket of toys/goodies that just comes out on those days. You can as well keep their minds busy on certain things at school or back at home, like taking photos, while you’re the hospital. Have them take photos of their experience and, using say snapfish promo code, they can have them made to a photobook and share them.
The important thing to helping your kids cope with a cancer diagnosis will be to speak to them openly and frankly. Let them know they can always come for support or with any questions to you, and that you simply love them enough to tell them the whole truth.
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