Kids will likely experience a range of emotions themselves while their parent or loved one is dealing with cancer; it is normal to feel upset, sad, and angry. It’s important to provide kids with coping tools to deal with these emotions, such as drawing or talking to a friend or adult about how they feel.
TOP 5 TIPS FOR PARENTS ABOUT FEELINGS:
- Give permission to feel – no feelings are wrong.
- Different person, different feelings. Each family member may have a range of different feelings about Mom’s cancer.
- Model feelings – try to be open about your different feelings and ready to explain them. Kids are looking to you for cues about “how” they should feel.
- Talk openly and often about feelings with your kids.
- Be patient – kids are still learning about feelings, what they are and why they are feeling them and may not know how to communicate their feelings.
Here are some resources and activities to help facilitate these conversations:
Webpages for kids about Feelings:
The Moodster’s – helping kids navigate feelings
Howard B Wigglebottom – many stories, songs and creative activities about feelings, social interactions and promotes kids communication.
Read the first blog, The Discovery
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @ChildLifeMorgan