Together we will beat cancer


how to help an 11 year old?

7 Mar 2018 20:23

my dad is terminally ill and at present we are in and out of hospital and although henis fairly well in himself he has his bad days and can be bed bound etc. we are looking at around 2 years depending on how the new treament takes


me and my brother are in our 20s and we have a sister who 11, shes a very grown up 11 duento other issues we have had in the family previously. shes an absolutley amazing person who is so hard and bounces off any situation. we have included her in more or less everything treatment and diagnoses etc so shes included and can understand. she hasnt once yet cried though, she does ask a few questions randomly but we dont know how to take it shes only young and may not fully understand. is there any advice anyone could give? the hospital havent put us in toucb with anyone or groups etx even though we have asked. i dont want to force anything on her but just want her to no shes never alone and theres always someone there to help her and talk to if she doesnt want to talk to us.


thank you x

Re: how to help an 11 year old?

7 Mar 2018 20:45 in response to jess123

Hi there . . What a sad situation ... My heart goes out to everyone going on this cancer journey, but more so for children effected .... I've had couple of occasions with children loosing family and I've found gentle honesty was always best ... Answering their questions gently helps them feel included ... Some young ones on here have written heartbreaking letters on feeling scared and left out ... It looks as if she's got a great buddy in you, and your doing better then you give yourself credit for ...

I would just say to her , no matter how she feels or even tearfull your be there for her ... And it's no bad thing to share tears , it doesn't mean your weak , it means it's o.k to cry ... Mcmillan may be able to help with counciling... 

If you go on the home page here and on the bottom are different threads ... One leads to how to help children and it looks really good ... Hope that helps a little ... Take care .... Chrisie

Re: how to help an 11 year old?

7 Mar 2018 20:56 in response to Chriss

thank you so much for your kind words chrisie (holding back the tears...again!)  and the advice il have a look at the links to anything to help! xx

Re: how to help an 11 year old?

7 Mar 2018 21:27 in response to Chriss

Hi.  Just a bit of information about available services.  Some online services only cater for teenagers but there is one - Hope Support Services - that provides help to young people aged 11 or over.  I have posted a link .

Also, if as Chrissie suggests you ring MacMillan Cancer Support (Freefone 0808 808 0000) they may be able to point you in the direction of local support groups for children in the area where you live.  Best wishes.  Annie

Re: how to help an 11 year old?

7 Mar 2018 21:51 in response to Annieliz

thank you!! xx

Re: how to help an 11 year old?

7 Mar 2018 22:41 in response to jess123

Hello jess123,

Your little sister certainly sounds like an amazing person and she is also lucky to have you by her side during this difficult time. As Chriss suggested, we have some information on our website on talking to children about cancer which you can find here. Even though she is a mature 11 year old, she is still a child and I hope these tips and resources on what to tell children will be useful.

It's great you have already received very helpful advice from some of our members and I hope you will hear from others who have also had the direct experience of supporting a child in a similar situation.

We are all here for you too at any time if you need support or a friendly chat with others who know exactly how you are feeling at the moment.

Best wishes,

Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator

Re: how to help an 11 year old?

8 Mar 2018 04:31 in response to jess123

Hi there,

I'm so sorry about your dad! He is lucky to have a family like yours who are looking out for each other in this time of need. I think the fact that you are involving your sister will pay off in the long run!

I lost my mother at 12 years old and I was heavily involved for the 4 years she was battling cancer! Being at her side and caring for her like my big sister was doing really helped me as I felt like I was a big part of my mums battle and I was making this horrible experience a little less hard on her!

I think if you let your sister continue to be a part of the process then it does help her along the journey and your honesty with his illness shows her that you are trusting her which she will remember for when she is in need of some help!

Let her know that you need her support just as much as she needs yours as it will make her feel like she isn’t alone! Honestly it is just reminding each other that you are in it together! It’s a hard time but that little reminder will do wonders!

I hope this helped x

Re: how to help an 11 year old?

8 Mar 2018 12:51 in response to GemmaRose

Hi gamma rose ...

What a lovely post and written so kindly ... I felt really teary when l read your reply .. and you are such a brave lass ... l helped my nieces when when their dad / step dad died suddenly at 28 ... they adored him and we still chat about him and his youngest was only a year ... she's at uni now and I'm so proud of her ... but just wanted to send you a hug ... there's so many in Jess s  position. . Although I helped my nieces .. you have been there ... thank you so much ...

Jess always here ... whenever you need us ... big hug to you too Chrissie ❤❤❤❤