The most frightening words you will ever hear from your doctor is that your child has cancer. It is overwhelming and extremely emotional, and you may find it very hard to talk to your son or daughter about their diagnosis. You will need some time to absorb what has happened and how you will handle in as a family. You will need to sit down as a family and make sure that all of you understand exactly what your child having cancer will mean and how you can help them cope. Here are some tips for helping both your child and your family cope with the diagnosis.
Keep Everything as Normal as Possible
Parents can sometimes have the tendency to favor and be more lenient with their children once they start treatment. This is perfectly understandable, but you’re not doing your family any favors. It will make it harder for them to return to normal later on and if you have other children they may see this as being unfair. Even though your child has cancer, try and stick to as normal a routine as possible. Kids need to stick to things like a regular bedtime, do the chores they can handle and homework still needs to be done.
You will have to talk to your child about their cancer and what will happen next. They need to understand the diagnosis and what the treatment options are going to be. Your child can be terrified about going to see the doctor and how the treatment will feel. They need to understand what the treatment will feel like and the potential side effects that may happen. They need to understand that they may get sick and that if they have chemo their hair will fall out. Children are not so different from adults, the more information they have the better they will feel. Here is one child who understands his disease and their story.
Keep Your Child Comfortable
After treatment and your child has had a chance to recover a bit and feel better, you can spend some time together bonding. You can curl up and read your child some stories, enjoy some time outside and get some fresh air. Or you can play some of your favorite games together. The point is to relax, let your child know they are safe and loved.
Sometimes children who have just had chemo treatments take a little longer to recover and your time together may have to be a bit different. Enjoy a move together or just have some quiet time. They may not have the energy to play their favorite games.
Cancer is a brutal disease and it seems especially cruel to see children suffer from the disease. Having your child diagnosed is one of the most frightening things a parent can hear. You and your family can and will cope and make it through.