Direct information is extremely important,
for a long-lasting, sustainable and trusting relationship with your children and to prevent them from creating their own ideas in their heads. Even without any information, children sense that something is not quite right in the family. Nothing scares them more than not knowing what it is.
Talk to your children yourself
They want and need the information directly from their parents, their most important caregivers!
Use the word “cancer”
Explain the disease in an age-appropriate way.
Remember to explain that cancer is curable in many cases
Not all cancer is the same
Choose an early date
The sooner there is clarity, the easier it will be for children to deal with it and the easier it will be for you to talk openly about it in front of them!
Pay attention to the age of your child when choosing your words
Avoid foreign words and convey the information in small chunks.
All children must receive the same information although communicated differently.
Explain possible side effects
the visible and invisible
No one is to blame
Let them know that it is nobody’s fault that you have cancer, especially not theirs!
Allow all your children’s feelings
Avoid seemingly comforting things like “Don’t be sad”, instead name the children’s feelings “I know you are sad. That’s okay. So am I.”
Give your child freedom
Each child is allowed to decide for him or herself whether he or she wants to hear things or not.
Always be honest
Children do better with truthful information! Treating them with equality is essential for a balanced attachment behavior and the strengthening of their trust!
- Your child acts as if nothing has happened
- Your child reacts “quietly”, in order not to add strain or worry to the parent
- Increased clinging and additional demand for attention
- Age regression
You do not know the answer
Important: Avoid making promises you can’t keep!