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Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant Frequently Asked Questions
11. How do I tell my children about my transplant?
Communication is vital to all aspects of transplant. Children need to receive information that is appropriate to their age and stage of development. Teaching children about your disease and treatment, in words they can understand, helps them cope. Protecting them from information may worsen the situation because they may imagine things to be much worse than they really are. Listen to their questions and answer with reassurance and honesty. Allow your child to express emotions and help him/her to keep a positive attitude.
Some cancer centers have a Pediatric Social Worker or Child Life Specialist with whom you can consult. These professionals have special training in age-appropriate communication with children and in family dynamics. You may also find it helpful to consult with the social worker at your center and review written materials about communicating with your child. Some useful resources about communicating with your child can be found in the Resource Listing.
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