What should I tell my child about the patient's condition?
Many parents worry because they do not know how to explain to their children about the critical situation of a family member. We are sure that you want to protect your child and not hurt his/her feelings during your attempt to discuss with them such a sensitive topic.
Experts child Psychologists ...
They believe that young people are better able to cope with such situations if they know what is happening and have the opportunity to receive answers to their questions.
Young children, since early age, can sense when something changes in the family. Children who are protected from the truth, are those who usually worry more, mainly because the knowledge they have depends on scattered pieces of information they receive from different adult discussions. Thus, they try to make a story or create their own story in order to understand the unusual behaviors they observe around them.
Research has shown...
The sooner you talk to your child about the patient's condition the better as the difficulties that may later arise are minimized. Thus, children are better to be informed as soon as the parent receives the final information from the doctors.
When discussing with your child...
- Sit close to your children and in a familiar place where you will feel comfortable
- Although it is difficult to know, in advance, how to start the conversation, it is important to be honest with them. One suggestion is to transfer part of the information you were given by the physicians, eg. "The doctors have told us that dad is very sick, but will ensure that he is comfortable and not in pain"
- Explain to them what happened to the patient, if you know, and tell them what they can expect
- Give them time to express themselves and ask questions, while observing their behavior
- Focus your attention to their feelings that are arose from the discussion
- If you are not sure on how to transfer this information to your children or if you cannot talk to them, then you have the opportunity to ask the Psychologists from Ariadne Project to help you