Helpful Tips for Discussing Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment with Your Kids

by | May 1, 2023 | Prevention

Life has many challenges and when it comes to our children they are learning how to adapt to the varied experiences in their lives. As adults, our responses often teach our kids ways to cope and respond so it is helpful for us to help them learn that there are ways of coping that will help them to get through not only this one challenge but set a template of how to navigate the many different challenges in life. We are undergoing changes in our world that have not been seen in 100 years so many of us are trying to figure out how to navigate a pandemic, the changes in our work environments, the changes in how our kids experience school as well as the basic aspects of life. Is that enough!! 🙂

I know myself, I wish that I had learned better how to deal with life’s curve balls, Over time, I learned how to seek out good role models who provided guidance, encouragement, a sense of empowerment and path forward! In this blog, I want to share with you one resource that I have found which I think can be enormously helpful to families with children dealing with mesothelioma in a loved one. The good news is that this advice is universal so it can be used by almost any family with children dealing with a diagnosis of any type of cancer in a family member. With time, what most of my patients with cancer have shared with me is that our most difficult challenges often become our greatest teachers and opportunities for growth!

As many parents are aware, It is so important to communicate with our kids to help them to feel safe, to feel heard, and to let them know that they are NOT the fault for why a parent or any family member is sick. You can help them understand that while role modeling that as a family you will be there for them and they are not alone. This is not easy when we are often grieving at the same time. Take time to think about what you want to say at their level. If you are feeling unsure, you may want to run your ideas by a trusted Health Care Professional. The Resources at the website below are stellar tips. We know that you know your child best so you can explain it in a way that they can relate to and is at their growth and developmental level. By following these tips you can provide anticipatory guidance to your kids when a close family member has been diagnosed, is to undergo treatment or is preparing for death. I share these with you from the MesotheliomaHope office outside of Boston. They freely share this with families and are available to offer support for families that are experiencing mesothelioma (a cancer most often due to exposure to asbestos but also other environmental factors) but the tips are Freely Shared with all! Check them out