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When the diagnosis of childhood cancer is known, it is normal make parents feel confused, anxious, disoriented, and totally lost in the face of the complexity of the language of diagnosis as well as treatment therapies.
For this reason, it is necessary for parents to prepare, inform themselves, and learn the smallest detail about the disease, so that their child's acceptance of the disease is calmer and more controlled, and so that they too are able to explain cancer to children.
Talk to your child's doctor. Their experience will be a comfort and support for you. It is important for parents to talk to their child about cancer clearly, honestly, and smoothly. Consider the opinion of the specialist doctor. He will know how to saywhat may be the most convenient time for your child to know what he has. So when the time comes, parents can pass security and tranquility to their child. There is no reason to despair. The energies should be focused on the solution of the disease and not on the search for possible causes. It is necessary to fight for the cure and not to look for culprits.
Cancer can be explained to a child in different ways, depending on how old he is, since a 2-year-old will not understand the same as a 5 or 8-year-old. Apart from that, you have to keep in mind that each child is a different world, and that is why you have to find the appropriate way to tell each of them. We have found some clues that can help you:
- As much as parents try to explain to a 2-year-old baby what cancer is, he will not understand. You will know that you have a 'pupa' that needs to be cured, without further ado. At this age, what they need is to feel that their parents are there and that they protect them. They will need a lot of support, encouragement, and strength, especially when they need to be pricked, have a bothersome test, or go many times to the doctor and hospital.
- From 5 years old, the child will already understand something more about the concept of disease, especially when he experiences it. At this age, you probably want to know why you have it. Explain that why is not important. Yes, your cooperation and collaboration in treatment is. Tell her that cancer is "bad" cells and that treatment will kill "good" cells. Confidence must be conveyed through positive attitudes.
- From 7 years old, the child will understand the disease better. You can already talk openly with him about the subject and make him understand that the cure will also depend on his collaboration. At this age, the child will already express better what he feels, his fears, his doubts, and will hardly show resistance to do some analysis or to take medications, even if he knows their effects. In any case and at whatever age it is, the love and support of the family is essential. Children want to feel protected and covered.
How the child will react when he learns that he has an illness that will make him or her visit the hospital many times is anyone's guess. Everything will depend on the way the child is, their mood, the medical and family support they have, the type of cancer they suffer from, and the evolution of the treatment.
Pain, as well as the duration of the disease, are factors that are very difficult for a child to experience. And if to that is added that he has to be more separated from his parents, his friends, schoolmates, it is even worse. The position of the family is very important for the evolution of the treatment.
You have to think that everything is overcome when you maintain good spirits and hope. If you have a child with cancer who is in the hospital, try to create a good environment for him. Seek to distract him as you can, with toys, stuffed "friends", coloring pages, and prizes for each test passed.
You need to use a routine, for example, to study and do your homework. If you find it convenient invites some of his friends to come visit him. You will love to share your experiences with them, and thus "blow off steam". Little by little the child will adapt to the new and temporary situation, and family and social life will normalize. The important thing is that everyone is united to overcome the disease.
You can read more articles similar to How to explain cancer to children, in the Cancer category on site.