Sharing Information with Families

  • I recently attended a conference entitled"Will Talking About It Make It Worse: Creating Family Conversations in the Context of Chronic and Life Shortening Illness".  As we all know, illness and death touch all of our families, and how we are able to talk about it has a tremendous impact on our potential for coping and healing.

    As parents our inclination may be to protect children by shielding them from information about illness in their loved ones.  Yet, children find things out and sometimes not in ways that we want them to.  Talking with your children about cancer and other illness is a difficult task, but it is one area over which you have some control, how they first learn about the illness in their family.  Children are especially vulnerable when the illness occurs in their primary care giver because of subsequent changes to the family and its routine.  This may impact on their school academic functioning and behavior.  So it is important too to share with your child's guidance counselor or case manager any significant changes in your family, so we can work together to support our children.