Category Archives: Helping small children cope with feelings when a loved one is seriously ill

Supporting Children When Someone They Love Has a Serious Illness Part 2 – Guidelines for Children 5 and Under

Part 2 of our 6 part blog series sharing coping tips to help support children when someone they love has a serious illness.  A child’s age and maturity will affect how he or she reacts to the news that someone they love has a serious illness.  The guidelines below are broken down by age and offer ideas on how to support children at different levels. Before age 3Babies and toddlers live in the moment.  They feel the emotion of what is happening around them even though they don’t understand illness.Behaviors you may see: May be more fussy May be harder to soothe May “regress” or begin to act like a younger baby. This can include their sleeping, eating and toilet habits. For example, a toilet-trained child may return to needing a diaper again. How to help:Provide security and as much routine as possibleA caring presence and a regular routine help