My granddaughter called me today to tell me her momma frog died. She has this little family of toads actually, who live by her basement window. She follows them closely and frequently calls me or shows me the little family and their recent activity.
So, to make a long story short, she is five and I tried to make light of the event and told her that maybe the momma just hopped away to visit some other frogs. This is what she told me......
" No, mamaw, her head is flat and her legs are stretched out and her belly is sucked in and she isn't moving. She is dead for real."
So the point of this story is this. Kids know more than we give them credit for. If your child is dealing with a serious illness, he or she knows more than you realize... for real.
Parents need to be honest when dealing with a child who is going through a tough time. Language should be age appropriate and the truth should be given in small doses but the key here is for what is said to be the truth...
If something is going to hurt...say it may hurt but you will be there with them.
If a medicine will taste terrible...say it will taste terrible but you will give them a sweet treat afterwards.
If your child asks tough questions about his or her illness... take it one step at a time, be age appropriate, but be honest and simply say you don't have all of the answers.
Never force your child into feeling like he or she has to protect you and your feelings, because kids are so smart and they know much more than we are ready for them to know, for real.