- Professional Training: The Children’s Treehouse Foundation provides cancer centers and hospitals with professional training to enable them to launch support programs for the children whose parents have cancer so they are better able to cope in that unsettling, frightening, and stressful environment.
They receive training and program manuals, a power point presentation, a DVD, and children’s activity material developed by the Foundation’s CLIMB (Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) program.
- Family Support: By providing group-support programming, the family burden of dealing with cancer, and the inevitable stress, is significantly reduced. Parents need support and help in communicating with their children.
They tell us:
- “I don’t want to alarm my children, but I don’t know want to lie to them either. How much should I tell them?”
- “I think my child understands, but I don’t know. He never says anything to me about my cancer.”
- “What should I answer when my daughter asks, ‘Are you going to die?’
- Children need support because they tend to
- imagine the worst
- experience intense feelings of shock, disbelief, denial, fear and anxiety
- mistakenly believe they caused their parent’s illness
- act out their feelings, displaying behavioral problems
Here’s what children tell us during the CLIMB support program:
“I really don’t feel like playing.”
“I wish this NEVER happened.”
“It feels like it’s your fault.”
“I want to BEAT SOMEONE UP!”
“I’m afraid of going to an orphanage.”
“You don’t feel safe.”
“You feel like you want to help a lot.”