While no one ever wants to think about someone they love being diagnosed with cancer, the fact of the matter is that it’s very likely that someone you know and love will be diagnosed with cancer, or some other type of illness or disease, at some point in your life. And although this can be hard for you to face and deal with yourself, the situation can become even more challenging when you have children who also know and love the person who’s just been diagnosed. Of course, it may turn out to be a misdiagnosis, in which case you can claim compensation for misdiagnosis for the distress caused, but it’s always best to tell children the diagnosis early in case the worst happens, even if it turns out to be a misdiagnosis at a later date. So to help you help your child through this tough time, here are three tips for talking to your kids about a loved ones’ cancer diagnosis.
Find The Right Time To Share The News
Because this is such huge news that will likely need to be explained and given time to really sink in, it’s important that you’re able to find the right time and place to speak about this with your children. According to Cancer.org, you should try to find a place where you aren’t going to be disturbed by other people or distractions. Additionally, try to schedule your conversation at a time when your children are more likely to be calm and attentive. Depending on the age of your children, they’re likely to have a lot of questions and concerns, so make sure you’re ready for a potentially long and difficult conversation.
Don’t Keep Them In The Dark
Although this is likely going to be difficult news for you to share and for your children to hear, it’s important that you don’t try to hide this diagnosis from them or keep things too vague if your children are curious or concerned. According to CancerCare.org, starting off this journey with good communication can help to set a solid foundation for good communication later on. Especially if things with the diagnosis take a turn for the worse or your child takes the new particularly hard, you’re going to want to be able to talk to them about what’s going on and have your child feel comfortable coming to you with anything he or she might be feeling or thinking.
Give Them Some Understanding Of What Cancer Is
If your children haven’t had any type of experience with cancer in the past, it might be up to you to give them some understanding of what cancer is and what can or should be expected. Once you’ve shared the basics of cancer with your child, Cancer.net advises that you share some reassuring information as well, like that cancer isn’t contagious and that nothing the child did caused the cancer in their loved one. While these types of things might seem like common knowledge to you, they are often real concerns for young children.
If you’re about to speak to your child about a loved one’s cancer diagnosis, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you know what to say during this tough conversation.