Talking to Children about Cancer
A lot of people are afraid to mention the word ‘cancer’ to kids. You might not know what things to say if someone significant to your kids has cancer.
Should you or someone else they love be diagnosed with cancer, it is very important to talk to your children shortly after the cancer diagnosis to establish trust and to help them comprehend what’s occurring. If your kids know you’ll always tell them what’s going on, they will feel less afraid. Children feel frightened and alone when they have been told that “everything is well,” because they understand this isn’t accurate. They see whispering, crying, changes in other family tasks as well as meal schedules. Children have vivid imaginations, and also the things they imagine are worse than reality.
Continually have regular conversations with the kids in the days and weeks that follow diagnosis and reassure them that you love them so much. Allow any questions that they ask you and answer them truthfully.
The Best Way to Describe What Cancer Is
What you say about cancer will vary determined by the age of your children. With younger children, do not get too technical. Inform them that cancer is something that grows in the body but is not supposed to be there. It is 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 may be too tired to play or to snuggle. This does not mean they should be upset. It’s normal and natural to feel disappointed if your parent or grandparent is too exhausted to play.
Tell the children of your hair loss before it occurs in the event you’re likely to lose your hair. Clarify that side effects like nausea, fatigue, and hair loss are indications that the treatment is working.
In case your young ones ask whether you are going to die, do not offer false assurances. Instead, respond by saying, “I have great doctors who are doing everything that they can to make me well. ” In case your cancer is advanced, tell them you’ve great physicians that are doing their best to treat it. And you will let them know of the treatment’s progress.
Suggestions for Enabling Children to Cope
It is OK for the kids to come with you for the doctor’s visits if they’d really like to go. It helps some kids to find out where you are going to get well. Explain to them what is happening to you. Consider giving younger children things like surgical gloves or tongue depressors as souvenirs.
If worse days, like chemo days, consider having a special basket of toys/goodies that just comes out on those days. You can also keep their minds engaged in certain things back at home or school, like capturing photos, while you are the hospital. By taking advantage of the snapfish promo code, the photos can be made into a photobook so that they can share their experiences with you.
The important thing to helping your children cope with a cancer diagnosis is to speak to them openly and candidly. Enable them to know they can always come for support or with questions to you, and that you adore them so much not to hide anything from them.