What Should Parents Tell Their Seriously Ill Child?
Having a seriously ill child in a family is one of the most emotionally and psychologically draining experiences any parents can go through. The emotional needs of the child are of utmost importance, and the impact on family members can be very tasking. It is advisable that family members explore all support groups available, which can include family, friends, and social workers to help them cope with the life changing process of caring for a sick child. It is advisable that parents are open and honest with the child at every point in time depending on the child’s cognitive development. It is already obvious to the child that something is wrong, and is already imagining worse things due to their pain threshold tolerance level. Concealing information from the child will only add to their fear and anxiety level. The parents need to be honest with the child as to the nature of their illness, and possible outcomes. Parents need to take time out to listen to the ill child share his or her feelings, fears, negative thoughts, questions about God and the future. Parents need to encourage their children to express their feelings, tell them the truth when talking about their illness but they might need to modify their explanation in a way that fits the child’s cognition. Being open and honest does not necessarily mean the parents have to tell the child everything concerning his or her illness, but the child’s condition can be explained in a developmentally appropriate way. Situations in Which to Not Inform Child He or She Has a Serious Illness Children should be educated on the nature of their illness if they are developmentally able to understand. Young aged children are in a way protected in that they do not understand the implication of the illness they have developed, but this also means that many of the treatment process will seem overwhelming and frightening, because it is difficult to reassure them with...
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