6 WAYS TO TALK ABOUT YOUR BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSES WITH YOUR CHILDREN
Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating for the patient and their family members, especially their children. Talking to your child about your diagnosis can be challenging as a parent. Still, it is essential to communicate with them openly and honestly to help them understand what is happening. Here are six ways to talk to your child about a breast cancer diagnosis:
Use age-appropriate language: Tailor your language to your child's age and developmental stage. Use straightforward language when speaking to younger children, and use more age-appropriate vocabulary when talking to older children.
Start with the basics: Begin by explaining what cancer is and how it affects the body. Explain that cancer is not contagious and cannot be caught like a cold or the flu.
Encourage questions: Encourage your child to ask questions and express their feelings. Be prepared to answer questions honestly and acknowledge if you don't know the answer.
Emphasize that you are not alone: Assure your child that you have a medical team, family, and friends supporting and helping you (and them) through this difficult time.
Share your emotions: Let your child know how you feel emotionally, but also reassure them that you are doing everything possible to fight cancer. But also try to avoid making promises to them about your treatments, results, lifespan, etc.
Maintain normalcy: Try to keep your child's routine as normal as possible. Continue participating in family activities and encourage your child to maintain their daily routines, such as attending school or participating in extracurricular activities.
Talking to your child about a breast cancer diagnosis can be challenging. Still, by communicating openly and honestly, you can help them understand what is happening and give them the support they need. Remember to take care of yourself, too, as discussing your diagnosis can be emotionally draining. Seek help from family, friends, or a professional counselor if needed.