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What do you say


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when your little one (7 yo) says is Grandpa very, very, very sick? I'll be really sad if he died. Honestly I can't even remember exactly what she said, but it all started because we lost a family friend this weekend (who happens to be the mother of my daughters library teacher) and then we past a cemetary

I went through this with my son when my dad was 1st diagnosed, but I've not really talked to my daughter much about it (she was only 3 when dad was dx and I guess now that I think about it Ryan was 8.5).

And then she was so mean when she wouldn't kiss my dad goodbye (she is stubborn like this a lot of the time but usually to my ILs not so much to my family). And then my dad got angry.

I'm just so sad tonight ....

The rabbi suggests honesty and I told her that he is taking medicine to hopefully help him feel better and that if this doesn't work we will try something else (but I question that there is anything else).

I'm just feeling very beside myself and I thank you all for just listening ...


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That is so hard!

Chris was that age when Mom was dx'd. We always tried to be honest, yet optimistic. We would say, "Grandma is really sick, but the drs have a plan and she is working with them, and we are praying."

When things took a dip for the worse, we told them that as well.

Be sure to follow up with saying, "Why do you ask?"...see if you can get her to talk about what she is really feeling.

Having these conversations with my kids was the hardest part of the disease, for me. Hope it goes well for you.


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yea question her to get her talking to see just how much she understands... if she gets it I feel you should be upfront without being scary. then I would call her school an ask to speak with the counselor on staff for the school. Explain to them the situation so that they can then keep an eye on her for outbursts or experssions of grief that you might not see at home. they can also pull them off to the side and have a talk to see how they are doin cause sometimes talkin to someone not family is easier for the kids

I know from experience... my 11 yr old started questioning what was going on...so we told him then I called a meeting with the counselor and its playing out from there... I say call the school so they can watch behavior that is not normal like anger,not doing school work, disruptive, ect.

my 5 yr old starts school soon... and he doesnt really get it but the counselor is gonna keep an eye on him too. all he says is Papa is sick...but he isnt coughing LOL

an the 3 yr old is oblivious.

I hope things work out... and of course lying is the worst thing to do to a kid... birth and death are all parts of life we need to learn about

not kissing the grandpa... I would tell her that she hurts is feelings and that wasnt nice. ask her if she would like it if you didnt kiss her goodbye when you went (insert example).

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My sister had the talk with My nephew who is 7 Y.O. whan Deb passed away. He got it and she was completely honest with him about what happened.

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Get the school counselor involved. When my students, who are 8, come in with such information I am on the phone. The counselor takes the child privately, and they always come back with some relief on their face. It's what the counselor does.

good luck


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Talk, talk, talk.

Mikkel and Saoirse were 4 when my mom died. She lived with us, and Saoirse is having a VERY hard time with missing Grandma. We talk about her all the time, she and I cry together, and we go to the cemetery often. While I can't change her feeling sad, it feels good to know that Saoirse will forever remember her Grandma so vividly. My cousin told me that when she lost her dad she looked at her grief as a gift of how much she and her dad loved each other. I see my grief this way, and I'm trying to teach my kids the same.

We talked with the pediatrician, who offered a child psychologist, but then we happened to be at a Kids' Expo and I saw a booth with a grief counselor there. She told me this is the direction I should go. We just moved and I am trying to find some good information here for grief counselors. I would also like to get my kids into a support group for their age.

I have read countless books on the subject, but the theme is the same: don't try to hide the grief, or change the subject when they talk about it. Letting you know that you support them, love them and care about them is what will help more than anything right now, with this range of emotions that they have never had before.

Good luck,

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My 2 daughters are 7 and almost 5. They are my mom's only grandkids as I am my mom's only child. My mom's whole world is them.....and their whole world is HER. My mom is an artist & art teacher. She constantly brings art projects over to our house or brings them when we all go to our summer cabin. Both daughters want to be artists like their "Nona". I have sat my 7-yr-old down and talked to her about Nona being sick. She was very sad. I explained everything -- age appropriately of course. That Nona is very sick. My daughter has heard us talk about cancer before my mom was diagnosed. So when she heard the word "cancer" it did scare her. I explained that the doctors are going to do everything they can to help Nona. I explained that the medicine they give her makes her feel sicker but that it's also helping. I've explained all the possible side effects. My almost 5-yr-old has gotten the condensed version. They both know that Nona can get very tired and that when we go over there, they need to be considerate of how Nona feels. My 7-yr-old did ask me at the beginning if Nona was going to die. It was the hardest question I've ever been asked.....and hardest to answer. But I explained that even though it's very serious, we are going to think about Nona LIVING and getting through this right now. Yes, people can and do die from cancer, but I don't have the answer right now.

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