Talking to Children about 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 someone important to your 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 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.
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.
The Way to Clarify What Cancer Is
What you say about cancer will vary with respect to the age of your kids. 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 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 might be overly tired to play or snuggle. This doesn’t mean they should be distressed. 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, tiredness, and baldness are all signs 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 physicians who are doing everything they are able to in order to make me well again. ” In case your cancer is advanced, tell them you’ve great physicians that are doing their best to treat it. Tell them you will inform them how the treatment goes.
Tips for Helping Kids Manage
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 children to see the place which will help you get better. 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 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 children cope with a cancer diagnosis is to speak to them openly and candidly. Enable them to know they always have the ability to come to you personally with questions or for support, and that you adore them enough to tell the truth to them.