Serious Illness

Serious illness

Serious illness affects everyone in the family – not just the person who is ill. Children and young people very quickly pick up on the changes in atmosphere and in how the adults around them are behaving. Without good explanations they often think that this is because of something that they have done. Not all serious illness results in death but for children and young people their reactions can be very similar.

What do we tell the kids?

Telling our children and young people that someone they care about is very ill and may die is probably the most difficult conversation that we can have. Worries about what to say, how much to tell them and how they will react are common and natural worries for parents and carers.

There is no good time to tell anyone bad news but trying to hide or protect childrenĀ and young people can make things more difficult afterwards. With good support they can and do cope with very difficult situations. Research tells us that good information and clear communication can make a huge difference for them to help them in this.

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