Talking to Children about 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.
If you or somebody else they love has cancer, it’s very important to talk to your kids soon following the diagnosis to build trust and to help them have an understanding of what’s happening. 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 notice things like whispering, changes in meal schedules, crying, and changes in household activities. Children have vivid imaginations, and also the things they imagine 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 them to ask you their questions and answer them honestly.
How to Describe what is Cancer
What you say about cancer will vary depending on the age of your children. With younger children, do not get overly technical. Let them know that cancer is a thing that grows inside the body but isn’t supposed to be there. It is kind of like weeds in the garden. There are lots of methods to get rid of weeds (cutting, weed killer, pulling) and there are several means to treat cancer (chemotherapy, surgery, pills, radiation).
Clarify that occasionally you might be overly tired to play or snuggle. This doesn’t mean they should be distressed. It’s normal and natural 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, tiredness, and baldness are all signs that the treatment is working.
If your young ones ask if you’re going to die, do not offer false reassurances. 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 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 a souvenir like surgical gloves or tongue depressors to younger kids.
If some days(like chemo days)are worse than the rest, 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. 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 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.
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