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Communicating with Your Child

Guiding Other Adults

The other adults who interact with your children—teachers, relatives, babysitters, coaches, or the parents of your children’s friends—may also be in a position to talk with your children about your illness. Please see the section on school support for specific ideas about how to include your child’s school personnel in the communication loop.

Setting the tone

Ideally, other adult relatives will look to you to set the tone about how to discuss your illness with your children. Sometimes children will go to a trusted aunt or family friend with worries because they are concerned about burdening their parents further. It is important that these significant adults know what language you are using with your children, as well as appropriate facts about the illness. These supportive adults should also know that you are interested in hearing from them about what your child is curious or worried about. Especially for relationships with older children, encourage caring adults to let your child know if they want to share something with you and get your child’s agreement to do so.