When you are a parent, your main focus is to take care of your children and family in every way possible. However, when one of your children is diagnosed with cancer, you may find yourself feeling unsure of what to do and how to handle the situation. After all, not only do you need to help your child through understanding their diagnosis and their treatment, but you will need to help the rest of your family, particularly your other children through the ordeal. Get to know some of the ways that you can help your family deal with your child's cancer diagnosis so that you can keep your family strong and intact in spite of such a difficult time.

Always Let Your Other Children Know What Is Going On

It is your natural instinct to always try to protect your children from the negative or possibly painful aspects of life. However, there are some situations in which sheltering your children will only be to their detriment.

When one of their siblings is sick with cancer, this is one of those situations. If you shelter them and your ill child's health takes a turn for the worse or their treatments are more extensive than originally thought, you do not want your other children to be suddenly shocked or upset by the news.

Keeping them up-to-date on your child's status and treatment program will help them to cope. The more they know, the less helpless they will feel and the more a part of the family they will feel so that they can be there for their sibling as much as possible.

Consider Family Counseling

When a family member is diagnosed with cancer, it is inevitable that everybody will experience a wide variety of emotions about the situation. However, sometimes it can be difficult to identify those emotions let alone discuss them and deal with them.

Family counseling can help with these issues. A therapist can help to encourage each family member to open up and communicate with one another. They can also help you and your family to develop coping mechanisms to deal with the stress, worry, and grief that you will all likely feel, even if your ill child pulls through and goes into remission.

Family counseling can also help to identify other issues that may arise when your child is going through cancer treatments. Sometimes other children in the family can feel ignored or neglected because your attention is focused on the health of your sick child. Without being able to talk things through with a counselor, you may not realize your children are feeling neglected and need more attention until they begin to have problems in other areas of life like school. 

Now that you know a few of the ways that you can help your family deal with your child's cancer diagnosis, you can be sure to take care of your family and your sick child all at the same time. For more information about family counseling, visit Clinical Services.