Tag Archives: How-To

Tips for Communicating with a Child in Pediatric Hospice Care

When a loved one you care about is dying, it’s hard to talk with them. There’s so much you want to say to offer support and encouragement, but the words that come to mind never seem right. In our experience, this is especially true when that loved one is a child.

 

In our hearts, we feel that children aren’t supposed to die. Unfortunately, this does happen and, for the sake of the child, the reality of the situation needs to be faced. While talking with a child in pediatric hospice care will likely never be easy, you can make it a little easier with the following tips.

 

Don’t underestimate the child.

We often forget that children are capable of the most miraculous thought processes. They are able to understand so much more about the world than we realize. That’s why it’s important to speak with the child honestly about his or her condition. In the words of Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, “Children have the capacity to understand more than we often give them credit for. Like adults, they deserve our respect and compassion and our honesty.”

 

Encourage communication.

Children can cope with what they know and how they feel with the people they feel comfortable around. So, make sure the child knows they can come to you to ask questions or voice their concerns or fears. Just be careful not to come on too strong. Just like any adult, children process information in their own time. Give the child the room and support to process what is happening to him or her in their own time.

 

Don’t forget the spiritual side of things.

Even if your family isn’t the “religious type,” it’s likely your child will have spiritually charged questions. It’s important not to make the child feel odd for that. Answer the child’s questions honestly and openly. Just don’t be afraid to call in a professional that may be able to help with touchier topics such as this.

 

At the end of the day, the goal is to help your child live and freely and fully as they can. So, contact the pediatric hospice care team in Las Vegas that’s known for its success in this area. Just call 702.380.8300 today.

Talking About Death With Children

There are certain conversations that no one likes to have with their children. Death is no exception. However, taking the time to discuss death with your children can make all the difference when a loved one passes away.

 

Do’s

 

There are a few things you can do to make talking about death with your child a little easier. If you have a loved one receiving hospice care in Las Vegas, the following suggestions will help you prepare your child for an emotional crisis and, ultimately, lessen the blow.

 

Do take advantage of unemotional moments.

 

Talking about death with your children is really hard when you’re in the thick of things. You’re grieving, and that can make it tough to explain death the way your child likely needs it explained.

 

You can get around this by taking advantage of moments when your emotions aren’t running so high. Talk about death to your children when you notice a dead bug, bird, or animal. This allows you to address your child’s curiosity without dipping into your emotional well.

 

Do remember that children are aware.

 

Children notice death all around them. Whether the source is the backyard or the television, your little ones are aware of death. Because of this, they will ask questions.

 

It’s important to make sure that you don’t make your child feel guilty or ashamed of their curiosities. Listen to your children, and show interest in what’s being said. If your children are coming to you with questions, the battle is half won. Speak honestly in an age appropriate way to make it a lot easier for your children to process death in the future.

 

Don’ts

 

There are also a few things that you want to avoid when talking about death with your children.

 

Don’t wait or avoid the talk.

 

Sometimes, it can feel like your children aren’t old enough to talk about death. That can tempt many parents to wait till later or avoid the conversation completely.

 

However, if your children are asking questions, they’re already aware of death. Chastising them for their questions, even when done mildly with honorable intentions, creates ill feelings in your children. This is when many children begin to develop taboos about death. Some children will even begin to avoid conversations about anything after a time.

 

While it may be uncomfortable, the better way to go is to address your child’s questions as they arise. Let them know that it’s okay for them to be curious and answer their questions transparently.

 

Don’t expect to have all the answers.

 

The biggest mistake parents make is thinking they’re supposed to have all the answers. Of course, you want to prepare your child for life’s harder moments as best as you can. Just don’t expect to have all the answers.

 

The best you can do is be honest with your children. If you have doubts about something, express that. Saying, “I’m really not sure about that, but here’s what I think…” is an answer that will always be more efficient than trying to come up with something you don’t believe.

 

Just remember: children are curious by nature. They’ll ask tons of questions that are likely to make you think of things you’ve never thought of before. That’s the beauty of children. Embrace this fact, and you’ll find yourself learning from them as well.

 

Talk about death with your children before the time comes. With a loved one in hospice, there’s no telling when that final moment will be upon you. If you’re still apprehensive about this conversation, ProCare Hospice of Nevada can offer additional support. For more information about available hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.