Add Your Kids to Your Metastatic Cancer Care Team

Whether a preschooler or preteen, your child can play a crucial role in your metastatic cancer care. Here's how.

Health Monitor Staff

Questions to ask yourself before you ask for help
Socializing with friends and taking part in sports and other extracurricular activities are important for your children’s healthy development. Each family situation is unique, as are each child's needs. The situation can also fluctuate daily. Find out how your child feels about helping before demanding help. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Could someone else do the job? Reevaluate your entire support system periodically to decide who's the best person for a particular task at that time. If you have friends who could drive you to chemo, think twice before asking your teen to give up basketball practice to do it.
  • Does my child have time to do this nowTry to keep your child’s schedule in mind when asking for help. Work together with your child to find compromises that meet everyone’s needs, when possible. If school nights are crammed with homework, ask if your teenager could help more on weekends.
  • What’s my child giving up to help me out? Acknowledge your child’s sacrifices and always thank them for their efforts. You might say, “I know you need time to hang out with your friends. Unfortunately, this is the situation and it’s nobody’s fault. You help make a big difference for all of us and we appreciate it.” Consider rewarding them for big jobs like yard work, grocery shopping or watching over your younger children. If you can afford it, offer teens a cash tip after they complete a task so that they can treat themselves to a movie. 
  • Should I cut my kid some slack? Even though you’re going through a rough time, remember that it’s a stressful time for your child, too. You are teaching your child important life lessons when she faces the consequences of unwanted circumstances. If you give her some slack, it's not about letting her off easy; it’s about enabling her to replenish her batteries.
October 2012