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To think that children should not be told this at a young age?

(104 Posts)
InkyPunkyGothyPoo Tue 13-Mar-18 19:40:09

I won’t state the ages of my children just yet for in case I get flamed. And I’m not strong enough to deal with that currently.

So for now I’ll just ask the following question.

At what age do you feel it appropriate to tell a child that a grandparent is dying of cancer?

Bearing in mind this is a grandparent that is seen roughly 6-8 times a year.

Thanks in advance.

Mishappening Tue 13-Mar-18 19:41:51

From a very young age I think it is fine to say Nanny/Granddad is very poorly and soon he/she might die.

RedRedDogsBeg Tue 13-Mar-18 19:41:54

You can explain it to any age..... you just adjust what you say and how much detail

NoAprilFool Tue 13-Mar-18 19:42:50

All ages, you just tailor it appropriately.

LinkyPlease Tue 13-Mar-18 19:43:30

I'm in a fairly similar position and told my 4 1/2 "yr old that my granny, so her great granny is very poorly and won't get better and will probably die quite soon. I didn't blurt it out, told her in an appropriate way, but the above were broadly the words I used. I don't see why not, I told her to ask me any questions she has but she gets it. Sad but part of life

NotTakenUsername Tue 13-Mar-18 19:43:57

I don’t think it is about age, but I do think it is up to a parent to discuss this with them initially.
The only slight exception I would make to that is if the child asked a direct question to someone closely involved with the terminal patient or they were speaking to the terminal patient themselves. I would struggle to put conditions on the behaviour of a dying person.

ShawshanksRedemption Tue 13-Mar-18 19:44:00

Agree with RedRedDogsBeg - any age, it just needs to be explained in appropriate language.

LascellesMoustache Tue 13-Mar-18 19:44:08

What do you suggest instead?

I think you could tell a 3 year old this, why hide it?

ChoudeBruxelles Tue 13-Mar-18 19:44:18

Ds was 5 when my mums cancer returned. 6 when she died. He didn’t know until the very end that she was very poorly. He didn’t need to worry about it for weeks and months before she actually passed away.

Ginmakesitallok Tue 13-Mar-18 19:44:45

I've had to tell my dds that their gran is having an op in the next couple of weeks. Dd1 (14) knows that gran has cancer, dd2 (8) just knows that she's not well and needs an operation. If/when dm is palliative then they will both be told that granny isn't getting better and is going to die.

DamnCommandments Tue 13-Mar-18 19:44:46

We told ours that grandma might die but the doctors were still trying to help. They were 5 and 8.

NotAllTimsWearCapes Tue 13-Mar-18 19:44:54

As long as it’s done in an age appropriate way then any age is fine.

Firenight Tue 13-Mar-18 19:44:55

From any age. It’s going to happen and having some time to say goodbye and to start processing before it happens helps us all.

I was 5 when I lost my Gran and knew she was terminally ill. I have to have the same conversation with my own kids before too much longer.

I’m sure there are books and leaflets to help explain and I shall be hunting those down before too much longer, unfortunately.

Pengggwn Tue 13-Mar-18 19:45:15

I probably wouldn't want to tell them before 8 or 9, but am not sure what I would tell them. Probably just that they were very sick?

Chienrouge Tue 13-Mar-18 19:45:18

Mine are 4 and 2.5 and I would tell them that, using age appropriate language.

pallisers Tue 13-Mar-18 19:45:38

when it happens it is appropriate. like red said, you adjust. I said something like "grand dad is very sick and we think he may not get better and that is making me sad. He is very old and has had a lovely life" to my 3-7 year olds. For an older child I might - or might not use the word cancer. Mine saw their grandparents less than 6-8 times a year but they were important people in all our lives. We mentioned their sickness so that their deaths wouldn't come as a complete shock.

I wouldn't have been happy with anyone but me or dh telling them though.

Hope you are ok OP.

MrsJayy Tue 13-Mar-18 19:45:39

You need to tell them age appriate granny is not well and is not going to get better I think probably a child over 6 would understand what is going to happen, I am sorry you are dealing with this it is not easy flowers

Justoneme Tue 13-Mar-18 19:45:59

Get a rabbit .... young children need to learn and understand about death / dying and living.

Firenight Tue 13-Mar-18 19:46:26

But agree, they don’t need to be worrying for ages and ages. There will come a point where the severity of the illness won’t be able to be hidden and then I feel I will have to explain.

InkyPunkyGothyPoo Tue 13-Mar-18 19:47:18

They were simply told “grandad has cancer and is going to die”.

No explanation or discussion. Just matter of fact and that was that.

ChoudeBruxelles Tue 13-Mar-18 19:47:31

Justoneme A rabbit is not the same as a person.

Phosphorus Tue 13-Mar-18 19:47:41

My four year old was told.

We explained about bodies going wrong, cells multiplying too much, and medicines ton being invented yet.

And they the person would get weaker, and die, and we wouldn't see them on earth any more.

The more information the better really. It stops the child worrying and inventing horrors.

DevilsDoorbell Tue 13-Mar-18 19:47:46

From a very young age but in age appropriate language. And don’t say that they’re going to sleep otherwise you’ll scare them about sleeping!

Aragog Tue 13-Mar-18 19:47:49

Justoneme - not sure that's the best reason to get a pet! Especially as a rabbit lives for several years, so chances are the child will be a fair bit older before it dies and quite possibly will have experienced death in other forms before then!

newshmoo74 Tue 13-Mar-18 19:48:07

Unfortunately I’m having to work out how to tell my three youngish children that my cancer has now spread to my brain. Some news can’t be withheld - you just have to find the best way to pass it on.

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