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Beyond coping with a newly diagnosed child, it may seem impossible to begin to communicate with your child, their siblings, cousins or friends about the diagnosis. That is why today we are going to take a moment and share a few things that may ease this process. We have found an amazing resource, Cancer Council, to take us through it.
Why it important to communicate with children about cancer?
It will help guide children through the process, and initiate interaction.
It will provide a safe two way communication process, which will help create a safe environment in case they have questions. It will also help with any misunderstandings that a child may have.
It makes them feel as though they have a say in such a chaotic time, it provides them with a sense of guided control.
Finally, just like it provides a safe place for questions, it also becomes a place where they can express their concerns and feelings which will help so much throughout the process.
Quick Tips of Communication
Reassure the child by answering their questions as honestly and accurate as possible. Although it may seem as though they can’t handle certain things, kids are extremely intelligent and they have a greater understanding of what is going on then we may like to think. They especially tend to pick up on tensions within the home, friendship and so on.
Maintain a routine. By making sure that certain aspects of your daily routine are still going, provides a sense of stability in what is more or less an unstable period in your life.
Encourage feelings. Although it may be difficult at first, this will have a profound effect later on through out this process. It provides children, moreover, encourages children to cope with their feelings.
Be as honest, open and use basic wording to ensure that they understand what is happening
Tell them what they can expect. It is important not to instill fear, but also prepare them what could lie ahead and reassure them that they have a support system during these possibilities
Collaborate with your doctor. This will help with any misinformation being communicated and your doctor may have some other techniques that may be best for you, your child, family and friends.