A cancer diagnosis can be very difficult for a family to navigate. It can be especially difficult to tell your child that their loved one has terminal cancer. The thought of explaining that a loved one has cancer can be very overwhelming and devastating. Telling your children that their loved one is ill can be very difficult and emotional for everyone involved.
That said, there are some ways to support your children as they face the challenge of a sick loved one.
- Be ready to answer any questions your child may have about illness and death.
- Be honest and transparent about death. Use the words “cancer” or “dying” and avoid euphemisms so your child does not get confused or blindsided by technical terms when speaking to others.
- Try to stay calm, but don’t be afraid to show emotion — it will show your children that it is okay to be sad.
- Ensure your child knows that they are not to blame for their loved one becoming ill.
- Make sure to go at your child’s pace, so as not to overwhelm them with information.
There are many ways to relieve stress and provide emotional support to children who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Grieving the loss of a loved one can cause a lot of sorrow and stress for your child. One of the best ways to support your children is to promote healthy coping mechanisms. This can help your children properly grieve while taking care of their own mental health.
It is important to give your child the coping resources they need to get through this devastating time in their lives. Having an open, honest, and supportive conversation about cancer can help your child understand what is happening to their loved one.
By Brianna Kinsey- Advocacy Associate