Stories about: Parenting

How to manage family life when your child has cancer

Valerie Graf and family
Valerie, with husband Doron, son Evan and daughter Ruby

When our daughter, Ruby, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at one and a half years old, my husband and I were immediately transformed from working parents with two young children, to parental caregivers for a child with cancer. Between hospital stays, medications and appointments, there was so much to keep track of. It can be overwhelming at times, but there are ways to manage life after your child is diagnosed with cancer.

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Why parents really need to talk to their children about the news

Black and white image of family watching news

These are strange, anxiety-provoking times. That’s true no matter where one lives or where one sits on the political spectrum; for all of us, it’s upsetting and confusing.

If it feels that way for adults, just imagine what it’s like for children who catch snatches of information and conversations they don’t really understand. That’s why it’s really, really important that parents talk to their children about what is going on in our country and our world. It’s important for two reasons:

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Down syndrome: Reimagining what’s possible

Ella kisses baby Juila on the cheek.
Photo credit: Nicole Starr

I first met Ella Gray Cullen in the Advanced Fetal Care Center (AFCC) of Boston Children’s Hospital, shortly after she had received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Like many parents expecting babies with conditions that can be diagnosed prenatally, she wanted to know more.

We talked about the additional medical screenings that would be recommended for her daughter to evaluate for cardiac defects and other conditions that are more common in children with Down syndrome. We discussed the developmental supports through Early Intervention and school that would be available to help her daughter learn and develop to her best ability. And, we talked about breastfeeding.

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6 questions answered about anxiety in children and teens

Focus on anxietyBetween school and social demands, lots of children feel stress, but at what point does anxiety cross the line and become a mental health concern? We sat down with Keneisha Sinclair-McBride, PhD, a clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s, to better understand what separates serious forms of anxiety from normal worrying, whether seeing a therapist is warranted and how to handle anxiety at home.

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