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It is never easy to talk to children and teens about a serious illness in the family, particularly if that illness is likely to end in the death of a loved one. However, young people are perceptive and sense when they feel they are being excluded from family events.
Depending on their age, they make take responsibility for the negative events if not given assurances about the cause of the stress in the home. Hopefully, they have been involved during the treatment phase of the disease. Some adults postpone telling their children until changes in physical appearance are noticeable. However, there may be other changes in the household that concern them such as the inability of the patient to work or frequent trips to the doctor or hospital. They may then attempt to gather information by eavesdropping on adult conversations and piecing together a scenario, leaving them alone with their worries.