- Communicate with your children that most families experience changing times and tough times too, whether it’s a family illness, divorce or a financial crisis.
- Explore their feelings and talk with them about it.
- Make sure they have others to share their feelings with, whether it’s a counselor, an understanding schoolmate, a youth minister or family friend.
- Understand that Mom now requires special medical care on her path towards the ultimate goal – regaining health.
- Recognize what will change, while also recognizing what will stay the same. This is very important, as children must know that some things will remain constant.
But unlike other families in crisis due to job loss or relocation or behavioral troubles, children of a parent with cancer or other potentially fatal disease face the overriding fear of uncertainty, loss and possible death. With lifestyle changes happening almost immediately, anxiety about the future can be at the highest level for a child. In the past, it’s been Mom who took care of life’s TO-DO list and problems. However, during this time, children can find themselves often caring for Mom, and also feeling as though they are facing their own problems alone.