How to Talk to Your Child About Cancer | Northwestern Medicine

Cancer can have a huge impact on the whole family. Even though parents might feel they should protect their loved ones from a diagnosis, this is something you cannot hide. Keeping something like this from kids can put a strain on the relationship. It is better to open up about it so that you can focus on getting better. Here are some valuable tips to help you talk it out with your children. 

Think of What You Will Say

It is imperative that you first think of what you will tell the kids. If possible, practice first to gain some composure. Writing down what you are going to say can help you focus and reduce some fear. You can even note the changes that cancer is likely to bring to a family since the kids will ask. If you have a partner or a close friend, you can first talk to them and get suggestions on how to go about it. 

Pick a Good Time

Talking to your kids as soon as you are informed of the diagnosis is much better. Plan a time when you can have a conversation with zero interruptions. Do not have a conversation when you are feeling tired, or the kids are exhausted. Both of you need to be well-rested as cancer is a serious discussion. As breast cancer treatment Newport beach advises, the kids will have questions, and when both of you are relaxed, it becomes easier to ask or answer questions. 

Keep it Simple

Use basic words that kids can understand. When you are done explaining, give them the time to take it in and ask questions where they need clarification. Parenting with cancer is not easy, and their lives are about to change. Therefore, give them a chance to digest this huge change. 

As much as this can be a difficult situation to have, try your best and have this conversation. There is no way to go about it. The only thing you can do is reassure your kids that things will still be fine.