Change can be a major source of stress for people. Children who have undergone pediatric cancer treatment have had to cope with a lot of change, which can make settling back into the rhythm of everyday life difficult. Here are four ways to help your child adjust back to regular life after their cancer treatment.
1. Establish Routines
Establishing a routine set of tasks or chores is an important step in helping your child readjust after pediatric cancer treatment. Children take comfort in knowing what is expected of them and that they are an important part of the family.
2. Handle Emotions with Grace
Feelings of separation anxiety, trouble sleeping and immature behavior are all ways a child may cope with stress as they process their experience. This is also true for siblings, who may become more demanding for attention from parents. Be sure to listen to your children and speak calmly to reassure them.
3. Take Comfort from the Community
The community made up of a child’s family, friends, teachers, religious congregation or social groups can all have a hand in helping a child make a smooth transition back to everyday life. It’s important for members of the whole family to take comfort from the help and sympathy that a community provides.
4. Revisit the Cancer Care Team
A diagnosis of cancer followed by treatment is often a difficult journey, filled with both trials and new friends made along the way. Aside from getting to see old friends and familiar faces, revisiting the pediatric cancer care team after the end of treatment can also help a child reconnect with their thoughts and feelings during treatment and help them see how they’ve grown and changed since moving on.