​Talking to children about cancer

Friday 11 May 2018

Many of you, following a diagnosis of cancer and throughout treatment, will have worried about how to tell the children in your life about what’s happening - your own children, or perhaps others close to you through friends, family or work.

Maggie’s is here for people affected by cancer including the people around the person with cancer (carers) and that means children of all ages too. Anyone  16 or over can drop into any of Centres, if you are under 16 you will need to have a parent or guardian with you.

We can help the adult with cancer - giving you confidence and also strategies, to help you to start to have those difficult conversations. We can also recommend books to read with younger children or  to give to older children you can visit our centres and browse our libraries. You may want to know more about what is ‘normal’ for children of different ages/stages  and when to be concerned about their reactions,

There are many ways we can help in supporting you to support, children, at any point in your cancer experience.

Individual family members react to stressful situations in different ways and sometimes it can be hardest to talk to those closest to you. Cancer can also strain existing tensions in families. We can see families separately and together in our Centres to help you to keep the lines of communication open and to find your way through together.

Like adults’ children and young people often need their own space – they may worry about upsetting you or friends with questions and keep things to themselves.

Many children are official carers for parents or other family members with cancer and we can offer them information and practical and emotional support.

We also offer regular kids days at many of our Centres where children have an opportunity to visit the hospital and find out more about cancer treatments and then a creative session afterwards offers the opportunity to talk things through with some of our professional team. You can find out more about the Kids days, funded by Children in Need, on our main website or contact your local Maggie's Centre directly.

Each young person and their family situation will be both complex and unique, drop into one of our Centres or contact the centre team by email or phone and we can help you to find the support you need.

Find your nearest  Maggie's centre

Best wishes


Blog originally written by Robyn, Jan 2018

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