How to Help Kids Cope with their Mom’s Breast Cancer

How to help kids cope with their mom's breast cancer

Child life specialists typically work with children who are facing medical challenges, but  they also work with children of adult patients. When a caregiver receives a health diagnosis the magnitude of stress, anxiety and fear can be overwhelming because they have children to care for. They don’t know how to explain the illness to their kids, they aren’t sure how it will disrupt their lives and the heaviest one, they don’t want to die and have their kids go through life without them.

In the U.S. 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Rethink Breast Cancer has teamed up with Morgan Livingstone a Certified Child Life Specialist to create free resources to help families cope with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Reading Pamphlets:

Talking to your kids about breast cancer: A guide for parents


The Kids’ Guide to Mommy’s Breast Cancer



This unique animated series, called MISSION: Recovery is illustrated by Clayton Hanmer and uses an imaginary world combined with the thoughts and voices of real kids who have had a parent with breast cancer to offer helpful strategies and tips to help children understand the disease, what their parent is going through, the feelings they may be experiencing themselves, and the importance of asking for help when they need it.

The Discovery

Operation Rescue

H.E.L.P. Squad

The Black Dot Returns

Transmission Feelings

They have also created fun activities to do with kids based on Mission: Recovery.

To learn more tips to help young families cope with breast cancer, check out  Rethink Breast Cancer.


Resources to Help Kids Cope with Trauma Associated to Terrorism

Resources to Help Kids Cope With Trauma Associated to Terrorism

The moment I heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris, I knew that once again children were being exposed to trauma. Adults will be glued to televisions, tablets and smart phones to get the latest updates of this horrific event. They will have conversations with other adults on the soccer field, coffee shops and over the phone. Our security and safety has once again been jeopardize and we begin to think, what if it happens here?

We may not even realize that watching the news coverage or talking to others about it, that we are exposing kids to trauma, fear and anxiety. I think that it is important to have conversations with children about what is happening in the world, but to do so in appropriate doses and using language that they will be able to understand. You also want to reassure them of their safety, validate their feelings and give them opportunities to process these events in various modalities.


Here are some great articles to help ease the fear associated to trauma and terrorism:

How to Help Your Child Deal With the Anxieties of Terrorism

How Much News Coverage is OK for Children?

Talking With Kids About News PBS fills this with a breakdown of how to start the conversations, age by age, listening, and play opportunities.

Understanding Child Traumatic Stress

Terrorism: National Child Traumatic Stress Netwrok

Talking to Kids About Tragic News Stories

My deepest condolences to the victims and their families in France. My heart is heavy and I will be sending love and prayers your way.