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Handling a Child’s Illness



When a child falls ill, family life is disrupted in many ways—school, work, meals, and routine fall away while parents and family members care for the ailing child. Prolonged care can feel overwhelming and stressful, producing feelings of guilt in parents, siblings, and other caregivers. Learning to ask for help—and figuring out exactly what help to ask for—can be difficult when we feel that we’re supposed to be the ones taking care of everything and everybody. Finding our way to resilience starts with the courage of self-compassion.

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06:56

This Advice Could Help Parents of Kids with Serious Illnesses

As a psychologist and counselor specializing in the care of children with cancer, Joanna Breyer has advice for families facing stress for which they never prepared. Author of “When Your Child Is Sick,” Breyer joins Judy Woodruff for a conversation.

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Every Day Counts: Lessons in Love, Faith, and Resilience from Children Facing Illness

Every Day Counts chronicles the remarkable stories of the children Maria Sirois worked with on a pediatric oncology ward.

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My Daughters Are Fine, But I’ll Never Be the Same

For a parent, there is no sorrow deeper or more encompassing than the loss of a child. But there is another that approaches it, and that, paradoxically, is grief averted—the grief of the narrow escape when a child comes close to death but survives.

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04:49

Helping Your Child with Chronic Illness

Does your child have asthma? Allergies? A child psychiatrist has advice for parents about supporting their child with a chronic illness.

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Medical Parenting: How to Navigate Health, Wellness and the Medical System with Your Child

As one of America’s Top Doctors™, a mother of two grown children, and a physician and surgeon with over 25 years’ experience, Dr. Jones understands that there is no greater responsibility as a parent than ensuring your child’s optimum health.

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Coping and Self-Care When Your Child Is in the Hospital

When your child is sick in the hospital, it can feel like you’ve entered an alternative universe. That heartache hit me like a tidal wave while caring for my desperately ill son in two children’s hospitals for eight months straight in 2015.

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When Your Child Is Sick: A Guide to Navigating the Practical and Emotional Challenges of Caring for a Child Who Is Very Ill

In When Your Child is Sick, psychosocial counselor Joanna Breyer distills decades of experience working with sick children and their families into a comprehensive guide for navigating the uncharted and frightening terrain.

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How to Talk with Family Members About a Kid’s Mental Health

Those who help care for children need to know details about their challenges.

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What Parents Can Do to Make a Child’s Chronic Illness Easier

When a child’s wellbeing depends on vigilant monitoring and consistent medical attention, the everyday anxiety and stress that all parents deal with is made worse by the fact that failing to keep up with treatment can be a matter of life and death.

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01:25

When a Child Has a Chronic Illness: Tips for Managing Family Stress

Tami Benton, MD, the executive director of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, discusses normalizing family life and setting limits when a child has a chronic medical condition.

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