Your child’s friends and how they can help
Your child still has the same needs as other young people – going to school, having friends, and enjoying things that were a part of life before their illness. You can help meet these needs by letting your child live as normal a life as possible.
Encourage your child to stay in touch with friends. Keeping contact is easier if your child can continue to go to school while being diagnosed and treated.
If your child is going to be in hospital for a long period, try to encourage their friends to come and visit them in hospital. Many children (and their parents) say that friends who have shared cancer journey are more accepting and appreciate what your child has been through.
Children who have cancer need and like to be with others their age, and keeping up with schoolwork makes them feel good about themselves.
After cancer treatment, your child may be very tired, this tiredness is to be expected. Help your child find other things to do, such as new hobbies, or ask friends to come over to draw or paint.
School and Friends
If children have obvious physical changes, such as hair loss, they will naturally worry about how their friends and classmates will act toward them, Help your child to think of ways to answer the awkward questions and to tell friends and classmates that they cannot “catch” the disease.
Your child may need to know that many people, including children, are uneasy about a serious illness. These people may act differently or say hurtful or wrong things to someone who has cancer.
You may want to talk with your child’s teachers about your child’s cancer, days missed, and any needed changes in activity. Teachers and other school staff may want to use this information to talk with the other students about what to expect when your child returns to school.
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If your child cannot return to school right away, a home tutor may be an option to help your child keep up with studies.
For young children your local authority may be able to offer a play specialist, making it easier to return to school.