Tips for Talking with Kids

Cancer is a serious disease that impacts the lifestyle of everyone in the family, regardless of age. It is impossible to shelter children from the harsh realities of a family member’s struggle with cancer.

We offer these tips to help you help them understand what’s going on around them.

#1: Give simple, accurate, and honest information – a little at a time. #2: Use words they’ll easily understand to explain the basics. #3: During a hospital stay, use a smartphone to let kids talk to and see for themselves their loved one in real-time. #4: When routines are disrupted, record messages, lullabies, and other exchanges so they can be played later, at home. #5: Set one time each day when kids can ask questions, and share their feelings. #6: Give them creative, non-verbal ways to express their worries: in pictures, in writing, in music. #7: It’s OK to be happy and have some fun; cancer is just one part of a whole life. #8: Appropriate to their age, let kids help – around the house, or caring for the patient. #9: Recognize any outbursts as a sign of the child’s frustration and, when correcting, gently suggest alternative ways to express their feelings. #10: Arrange for them to get a tour of the hospital or clinic and meet the staff who will care for their family member.

If a teen or child in your life has been affected by cancer… Cancer Care Services is here to help them, offering counseling and play therapy for children, teens, and young adults.

To speak to a Cancer Care Services cancer navigator or counselor,  call 817-921-0653 M-F 8 am – 5 pm or contact us online:
We support all ages and all diagnoses.