Talking to Children Regarding Cancer
Many people are frightened to mention the word ‘cancer’ to youngsters. You might not have the knowledge of what things to say if someone important 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. In case your kids know you will constantly tell them what is going on, they will feel less fearful. Children feel scared and alone when they’ve been told that “all is well,” because they know this isn’t true. They see whispering, crying, changes in other family tasks as well as meal schedules. Children have vivid imaginations, and also the things they envision 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. Invite any questions they may ask and answer them honestly.
The Best Way to Describe What Cancer Is
What you say about cancer will vary depending on the age of your children. With younger children, do not get overly technical. Inform them that cancer is something that grows in the body but is not supposed to be there. It is 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 may be too tired to play or to snuggle. This does not mean they should be upset. It is natural and normal to feel disappointed in case your parent or grandparent is too worn out to play.
If you are likely to experience hair loss, tell the kids before it happens. 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. ” If your cancer is advanced, tell them you have great doctors who are doing their utmost to treat it. Tell them you will inform them how the treatment goes.
Tips for Helping Kids Manage
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 the place which will help you get better. Explain to them what is happening to you. Consider giving a souvenir like surgical gloves or tongue depressors to younger kids.
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. 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.