Children can sense when a parent is withholding information or not telling them the truth. Not talking about cancer may suggest that it is too terrible to discuss. They may feel more fearful if they do not know what to expect during you cancer journey.
Give your child the opportunity to ask questions.
It is important to listen to your child and ask them what they think cancer is and what they are worried about during this time. This will give you the opportunity to correct any misinformation they may have.
It is important to comfort your child and provide security during this time of uncertainty. Tell your children that you do not know how everything will turn out, but as a family, you will face this challenge together. Give them lots of love and affection during this time.
Acknowledge the changes in the family routine.
Explain to your children that you are also sad when you miss soccer practice, dance recitals, or other important event in their lives. Let them know that their needs are still important and you will try to keep a normal routine as much as possible. Use friends and other family members to help you with these events when you are unable to attend.
Allow your children to help you.
Most children like to feel that they are doing something to help the family during this crisis. Give them age appropriate tasks such as household chores that give them a sense of accomplishment.
Communicate with teachers.
It may be helpful to talk with your child’s teacher and/or guidance counselor about your illness. They can help you look for changes in your child’s behavior and support your child when they are not at home.
Children may react differently depending on their developmental age, personality, and coping skills. They may feel confused, sad, angry, and anxious. KTAC can help normalize these feelings and support families and children of all ages. Please contact us at 308-KTAC for more information on how to help your family during your cancer journey.