If your children are upset when they hear of your cancer, don't behave as if all is perfect. When something is wrong, even small children can feel it. They'll notice that you're not feeling well, that you're spending more time away from home, or that you're not able to spend as much time with them as you used to. As early as 18 months old, children begin to notice what is going on around them. It's important to be truthful. It is better than letting them imagine the worst. Allow your children to ask questions and express their emotions.

What children of all ages should be aware of 

About Cancer

  • You didn't get cancer because of something your child did, felt, or said.
  • You don't have to die from cancer just because you have it. Many people, in reality, live with cancer for a long time.
  • Your child will not be able to heal you. However, there are certain things he or she can do to make you feel better.
  • Many new cancer treatments are being developed by scientists.

About Living with Cancer in the Family

  • Your child isn't alone. Other children have cancer-stricken parents.
  • It's good to be sad, upset, or afraid.
  • Your child has no control over the fact that you have cancer.
  • Since they are concerned about you, family members will behave differently.
  • Whatever happens to you, you will guarantee that your children are cared for.

About What They Can Do

  • They will assist you by doing nice things such as washing dishes, cleaning their room, or even drawing a picture for you.
  • They can continue to attend school and engage in athletics and other enjoyable events.
  • Other people, such as teachers, family members, and religious or spiritual leaders, may provide support.

Q- How do kids respond when you tell them you've been diagnosed with cancer?

Cancer can affect children in a variety of ways. For example, they may:

  • They may be perplexed, afraid, lonely, or overwhelmed,  
  • Feel guilty, as if something they did or said contributed to cancer.
  • When they are asked to be quiet or do more chores around the house, they become enraged.
  • They'll lose the amount of publicity they're used to.
  • They regress and act as they did when they were younger.
  • Getting into trouble at school or at home is a common occurrence.
  • Be clingy and apprehensive about leaving the building

Q- How do you help teenagers when they hear you have cancer?

  • If you have a child, be aware that they are at a stage in their life where they are attempting to break free from their parents and become self-sufficient. Encourage them to express their emotions and ask questions.
  • Tell them as much about cancer as they want to hear. Inquire about their thoughts and, if possible, allow them to assist you in making decisions.
  • Teens may wish to connect with others in their lives. Friends can be a great source of support for them, particularly if they have a family member who is suffering from a serious illness. Teachers, coaches, other members of the family, and spiritual leaders can all support.
  • Encourage the children to speak to someone they trust about their worries and feelings.

You may find it helpful to share this e-book When Your Parent Has Cancer: A Guide for Teenagers with them for more details about teen care. 

Q- What could you do to support adults after they hear you have cancer?

Your relationship with your adult children can change now that you have cancer. You have the choice to:

  • Solicit their support in making health-care decisions, paying bills, or preserving the home.
  • They could help you by inquiring about medical records.
  • You could ask them to accompany you to the doctor or pick your medications.
  • You could seek emotional support from them.
  • Feel self-conscious as they assist you with your physical treatment.

Reference- 1. Coping – Talking to Children about Cancer - National Cancer Institute. (2014, December 2). Www.cancer.gov. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/coping/adjusting-to-cancer/talk-to-children