Honesty is the best policy
As parents it can be natural to want to protect your children. However, we often neglect to realize that kids are quite observant and often know more about a situation than we give them credit for. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) says that since children who are terminally ill often know that they are approaching death, honesty is the best way for parents to approach the subject. Being honest can help children to feel less anxious and know that they can talk with their loved ones about the process. They can ask questions and together the family can help them create a healthy perspective on death. It is also important that families and healthcare providers meet each child where they are. Developmental level plays a huge role in a child’s ability to understand and reason. For example, explaining something to a 6-year-old should be very different than how it would be explained to a 12-year-old. Culture, religion, and what children can see in the media will also play a role in their understanding of death.