Figuring Out Options

Talking to Children about Cancer

A lot of people are frightened 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.

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 crying, whispering, changes in meal schedules and other family activities. Children have vivid imaginations, and also the things they imagine are worse than reality.

Reassure your children that you simply love them, and always ensure you have frequent conversations in the days and weeks that follow the cancer diagnosis. Invite any questions they may ask and answer them honestly.

The Way to Clarify 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. 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 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.

In the event you are going to lose your own hair, tell the kids before it occurs. 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. And that you will tell 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 what’s happening to you. Consider giving younger kids a souvenir like surgical gloves or tongue depressors.

If specific days, like chemo days, are worse than others, consider having a special basket of goodies/toys 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 young ones cope with a cancer diagnosis is to speak to them openly and frankly. 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.