Tips for Parents

Talk about what is going on:

  • Provide your children with age-appropriate and accurate information about cancer

  • Help your children to put their feelings into words

  • REPEATEDLY tell your children that cancer is not contagious and that they did not do anything to cause the cancer

Prepare and involve your children:

  • Prepare your children for changes in the family, in the parent, in the family schedule

  • Provide your children with opportunities to be involved with the sick parent by helping out and through hospital visits

  • GRADUALLY prepare your child if death becomes inevitable: children need to have a chance to say goodbye and to be involved in death rituals

Reassure your children:

  • Provide your children with a sense of normalcy, and as much continuity as possible

  • Give your children physical contact and comfort--hugs are more important than ever

  • Give your children hope and encouragement that life will one day be better and more enjoyable