The news of cancer in any family can leave them shocked and devastated. Moreover when it is the child who is suffering, the mental pain and agony of the parents and other family members is very hard to understand. Cancer is not a fatal disease these days and many kinds of cancers are curable; but the very thought that your child is suffering from cancer leaves no space for consolation.
The treatment for cancer calls for huge financial strength and above all the psychological crisis that the child and the parents undergo is unfathomable. Here are some effective ways how you can support a child with cancer and make the difficult phase a bit comforting and soothing –
Parents have to be strong first
A child depends on his parents firstly and then may be on other relatives and friends. Thus, to support a child the parents should be strong mentally. Assure them that you are with the family for any kind of help and also to have faith in the medical science and treatment procedures because it’s a fact that cancers are curable these days, subject to its stage and intensity. If it is your own child then you will have to derive the self control and strength from within!
Tell the child about the condition
It is advisable that parents should do this task and not any outsider as they might not be as delicate in handling the child as the parent would be. Many parents remain indecisive as on if the child should be informed about his condition; but his fear, apprehensions and mental stress while the diagnosis and treatment would be even more harmful if he remains in darkness.
However, what should be told and how much should be told depends on the age of the child and how much capability he has to understand the disease. Keep the lines of conversation open with your child and be ready for all kinds of questions – don’t get emotional but answer back logically with optimism and also make the child positive and hopeful about the recovery.
Engage the child in indoor recreation
The child might be strained with the thoughts and complications of the disease; don’t let those overpower him. Divert his mind to something constructive and make him feel that he is still the same as before and like other children. Although his outdoor activities might get restricted due to the treatment, you can arrange some indoor games, parties and art and craft activities that will keep him engaged with something constructive.
Read out stories of ‘hope’
Internet have now brought the entire globe into one box and with just few clicks you can get hold of a handful stories of cancer patients who survived after a successful tenure of treatment. Read out those stories to the child and make him confident about the stages of treatment. If you can get some people invited to your house and meet the child that would even be better. Of course, if the child is too small, this would not help him much.
Join ‘cancer-help’ organizations
There are many cancer institutes worldwide that have created small groups for such families and child to give emotional and also financial support in some cases. They have professional psychologists and reputed oncologists who do the diagnosis and psychological counseling of the child and his family. They also conduct many influential programs and workshops to aid the child in regaining the confidence and love for life.
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