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How do you explain cancer to a 2 yr old?

My mom has been having major health problems.. she is at the hospital for testing.. that is one of the things they are thinking right now.. we wont know anything for sure for a week.. im not going to tell my son anything til we know .. but if it is that (they are leaning stronlgy towards it) how do i tell a 2 uyr old> he only has 1 gramma his other died whne he was 1 he only met her 1 time.. but he loves my mom.. how od i talk to him about it? or do i? please help!
I also have an 11 yr old brother how can i support him thorugh this?

Answer Question

Asked by JrsMommy07 at 2:04 PM on Mar. 12, 2009 in Health

Level 10 (419 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • You just tell them that grandma is sick. There's no way they can grasp the concept more than that.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:05 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • My husband's grandma just had a masectomy a couple weeks ago. We went to see her in the hospital afterwards. My 4 yr old was really concerned for his "mema" and said that it made him sad.

    She got to go home the next day. Well, we forgot to update our 4 year old and he thought that she was "sick" in the hospital the whole time.

    He asked me what cancer was and I told him simply that she had some yucky cells in her body that made her sick and the doctor had to take them out. My 2 year old just knows that "mema' was sick but is getting better now.


    Answer by JennRN09 at 2:09 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • I agree with Anon. Explaining cancer as the disease itself would be too much for a 2 year old to understand. You just need to tell him that grandma is sick and she is trying to get better.

    Answer by Ash9724 at 2:10 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • sorry if this response is repeated. Just say grandma is resting cause she's tired. That will certainly be the truth and can go on for a very long time. Your brother needs more truth away from your two year old. If he's sad and overwhelmed don't let him stay long with your baby to carry it over. Two year olds are actually very very smart but extremely impatient which leads to their temper tantrums.
    Your brother is old enough to know the truth that doctors are working hard to keep her healthy. If he has any questions answer them honestly. My parents kept things hidden from me as a child and even as a much younger adult. That led to imaginings of concern that were unfounded unbeknownst to be because they weren't honest.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:12 PM on Mar. 12, 2009

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