How to help your anxious/depressed child

Jennifer Geselevich

2021

Imagine being young and taking on a big battle, such as cancer. Can you imagine all the emotions that come with that? Children fighting childhood cancer have to be more adult than most and yet have emotions of a child/adolescent (sometimes even younger). Big emotions are expected but sometimes as parents its hard to know how to help

Taking care of a child going through treatment is difficult. As to be expected your child will often feel anxious, stressed, worried and most of all depressed. They may question why this is happening to them and they may even feel moments of hopelessness. No one trains parents for this. Often times, the older the child the more they suffer with this. I would recommend getting them in with a good therapist to help them work through all of the emotions they may be feeling. When the moments of severe hopelessness arrive it can be scary for parents and leave them feeling helpless. Always, if you are worried for your childs life, call 911 or take them to the emergency room straight away (of course we know we must be in touch with oncology as well to be put in a safe room away from germs). But if it is not that extreme then one can simply sit with their child while allowing them to feel the emotions they are feeling, never to discredit. Asking question like, do you need a hug or would you like me to just sit with you, are good questions to ask. Helping to find what destresses them is also key as well. Some like to disappear into a show, music, video games, or drawing. Suggesting going for a walk, but also understanding if they want to do nothing. The biggest thing is to understand that they are young and having to deal with emotions that most adults do not have to deal with. Also, it is important that you know that this is not and uncommon thing to happen. As a matter of fact I would bet it happens to most kids/adolescents 6 and older, honestly. However especially to those who are 10 and older, so you are NOT alone! Also, sometimes you cannot fix it and knowing that is key, so just sitting there with them as they deal with it all is help enough. Another thing that is helpful, is connecting them with others who are going through similar things. Even if they are younger/older, it still helps.