If your child is 6 to 12 years old
School-aged children understand that medicines and treatment help them get better. They are able to cooperate with treatment but want to know what to expect. Children this age often have many questions, so be ready to answer them or to find the answers together. Talk with your child’s doctor or nurse for answers to diﬃcult questions or situations. Relationships are important, so help your child to stay in touch with friends and family.
If your child is a teenager Teens often focus on how cancer changes their lives—their friendships, their appearance, and their activities. They may be scared and angry about how cancer has changed their life and isolated them from their friends. Friendships are very important at this age, so look for ways to help your teen stay connected to friends through texting, e-mails, online video chats, letters, pictures, and visits. Some teens use social media sites to stay connected to friends. Your teen may feel that cancer has taken a lot of her freedom and privacy away. She may need to depend on you at a time when she is trying to become her own person. It will likely help to give your teen some of the space and freedom she had before treatment and encourage independence. Make sure your teen is included in treatment planning and other choices. Some teens with cancer feel as if nothing bad could ever happen to them, and others have fears about death. Your teen may try to protect you and others they love by holding in their feelings. Don’t assume you know what your teen is thinking. Take time to observe and listen. Many people, teens included, have trouble sharing their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it may be easier for your teen to confide in a friend or a member of the health care team than in you.