You and your family have developed your own style of communicating about things large and small. You have lived with each other’s individual ways of talking or not talking, non-verbal communication, and coping with emotionally charged issues.
Think back to how you’ve managed other family issues: a move, a change in a parent’s work schedule or childcare arrangements, conflicts about space as children grow, or changing financial circumstances. You’ve likely already learned from your experiences and know something about how your children best handle information and change—and perhaps how you wish you’d done things differently. A parent’s illness, like any important issue in the family, needs to be discussed in a thoughtful way to help children cope as well as possible, and not be left alone with their worries.