MISSION: Recovery – H.E.L.P. Squad

CHANGES IN THE ROUTINE AND ENVIRONMENT: 

Appointments, treatments and exhaustion can really interfere with your child’s usual routine. Be transparent about how their routine may change and also what they can do to help.

TIPS FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS: 

  • Acknowledge that changes can be hard to experience and manage – for all family members!
  • Try to use a small group of familiar faces/people whenever possible for routine events like, school drop off/pick up, lessons, sports, meals and bedtime rituals.
  • Try a daily plan to help kid understand what to expect each day. Simple daily routines help kids feel comfortable and help them cope better with change.
  • Explore new simple medical materials, objects and places together.
  • Introduce kids to any medical staff visiting the home – such as community nurses and doctors.

TOOL FOR KIDS TO HELP THEM GO WITH THE FLOW!

F – Fun – can I try to think of this change or these changes to my routine as an adventure?

L – Live, Laugh, Learn, I may not LIKE this change but I can live with it, laugh about it, and learn from it.

O – One – since thing are often changing, take on One task at a time, and focus on One day at a time.

W – WOW – find something that you love to do and find some time to do it! This could include listening to music, dancing, playing a sport, playing a game, doing a craft, or even cooking with someone you love.

HELPING OUT – TEAMWORK!

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Parents, kids and helping family members can come together and work on ideas and tasks for how everyone can help out during Mom’s Breast Cancer treatment. So put on your idea pants and imagination hats and let’s see what cool and interesting plans you can make at home!

Here are some starter ideas for positive changes you can make in the home that will help everyone face changes in a positive way!

Create a “kids” snack cupboard or shelf – This should be in a place that is easy for kids to access, like a lower shelf or open cupboard in the kitchen or dining area. Inside here you can include kid-safe dishes, like bowls, cups, waterbottles and small plates that are easy for kids to handle. Next, pick a favorite but simple snack food, maybe one that Moms would like even if they aren’t feeling that great, something like crackers! Encourage kids to be independent and “prepare” snack for themselves and other family members!

Art corner – It is fun AND important that kids be able to draw, colour and create using art as a way to express themselves, their feelings and experiences. Make sure you have washable crayons, markers, pencils, paper, stickers and other simple creative arts supplies available in a special box or drawer that kids can reach when they are feeling creative.

Quiet activities – Some days Mom may need to rest and have some quiet time in the home during and after treatment. Plan and prepare a few special quiet activities that kids can choose from when Mom needs quiet. This may include some special books to read or look at by themselves, a simple building or Lego project to complete, some fun and interesting puzzles, or even a simple craft project – like beading, painting or working with play dough.

Quiet activities together – When Moms want to rest but ALSO wants to spend time with kids, this may be a good time to find a favorite movie to watch or TV show you both enjoy together. Depending on how Mom feels, you may want to snuggle in the bed or on the couch together. It can also include some books that you can read together, or a board game or card game that can be played in bed or on the couch.

Planning outings – create a list of people, places and things kids would like to do OUTSIDE the home. Some ideas are: trips to the library, play at the park, visit a friend, go for a swim, or go to a movie – the possibilities are endless! Then see who can help take the kids to these outings, a parent, family members and friends may be happy to help with these outings! -Morgan Livingstone

Check out the next blog, The Black Dot Returns


Morgan Livingstone is a Certified Child Life Specialist who offers home support to families going through cancer. To get in touch or find out more info contact morganlivingstone@rogers.com or Tweet @ChildLifeMorgan   

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