Lymphoma survivor Jen Singer, journalist and parent, just launched a new website -- parentingwithcancer.com -- to provide guidance and support to moms and dads facing the twin challenges of cancer and kids.
An article in the online resource cancertoday (tagline Practical Knowledge. Real Hope, publication of the American Association for Cancer Research) reviews a few central issues of parenting through cancer.
In preparation, AACR journalist Jen Miller interviewed me for quite a while. I appreciate how, constrained by wordcount limits, she chose to share the part of our discussion focused on the necessity of establishing and maintaining open lines of communication.
Why talk to your kids about your cancer? “Kids sense what’s wrong and fill it in with things that are worse,” says Jen Singer.
“It’s very hard to keep a secret like cancer,” says Harpham. “If there’s a conspiracy of silence, children can’t turn to their parents for guidance or help. They may turn to people or ways of coping that are not healthy.”
And talking to your children about your cancer may actually help them grow, by helping them learn to cope with difficult situations. “When you tell children the truth, you are helping children learn to deal with reality in hopeful, healthy ways,” says Harpham. “And isn’t that what parenting is all about?”
To read the entire article, click here.