In the first harrowing days after a diagnosis of leukemia, parents must decide when and what to tell their children. Because parents are coping with a bewildering array of emotions themselves, sharing information and providing reassurance and hope may be difficult. In the past, shielding children from the painful reality was the norm. Most experts now agree that children feel less anxiety and cope with treatments better if they have a clear understanding of the disease. It is important to provide age-appropriate information soon after diagnosis and to create a supportive climate so that children feel comfortable asking questions of both parents and the medical team. Sharing strengthens the family, allowing all members to face the crisis together.
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Although nobody gets a parenting manual or bible in the delivery room, it is our duty as parents to try to make our kids as well rounded, happy and confident as possible. It is a lot easier to bring up great kids than it is to try and fix problems caused by bad parenting, when our kids have become adults. Our children are all individuals - they are not our property but people in their own right.