How do you go about talking to children about cancer? When someone in the family is facing cancer and you are dealing with a painful range of emotions yourself it can be hard to know how best to involve your children. Do you shield them from the situation or be open with them and show your own upset?
A teacher at my daughters’ school died recently. She was a much loved and respected member of the school community and had been teaching the very youngest class in the school. The children were just four and five years old and the teaching staff made the decision to involve them, and the rest of the children at the school, in a very thoughtful process of understanding what had happened to their teacher. The whole school was involved in creating a very personal and joyful remembrance of their teacher, combining stories, poems, pictures and memories, which I believe gave them all the opportunity to learn many lessons about love and caring, grief and remembrance as well as coming together as a community to support each other and think about what is important in life.
Having seen myself how sharing with children what is happening and giving them ways to be involved in the circumstances has helped my own daughters, I am very pleased to be able to tell you about a special book which I think is a valuable resource for families facing cancer. It is called Small Hands Creating Hope and has been created by MaryAnne of Mama Smiles. MaryAnne was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 22 months and is this year celebrating 30 years of being cancer free. She has brought together over 40 bloggers to produce Small Hands Creating Hope to offer resources to other families facing cancer and to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
The book is fantastic! It is full of ideas that children can use – if they are a patient themselves or if a member of their family is sick. It offers ideas and tutorials for all sorts of art and craft projects, and art and story therapy. The projects have been tried, tested and created with children and include ideas to lift spirits and bring joy to hospital rooms as well as thoughtful ways to give thanks and remember.
(Here’s a peak of the project the girls and I contributed to the project)
Get your own copy of Small Hands Creating Hope
Please support this fundraising campaign. Make a donation and get your own copy of the book Small Hands Creating Hope.
The ebook version of this book is being sent out to anyone who donates at least $15 to the American Cancer society. An email with the download link, as well as a second link that allows you to purchase a hard copy of the book for an additional $10.52 will be sent once your donation is received. The button below will take you directly to the team page at the American Cancer Society, where you can make your donation:
If you donate but do not receive this email for any reason, or if you have trouble with the download, email smallhandsproject at gmail dot com.
This project is supported by the following bloggers, who are offering sneak peaks of their projects as well as hosting several giveaways to win the materials needed to complete individual projects – so be sure to check out the links each day .
14 May Mama Smiles
15 May Artsy Craftsy Mom and Rainbows Within Reach
16 May B. Inspired, Mama!
17 May Rainy Day Mum and Imagination Soup
18 May Inspiration Laboratories
19 May Experimenting Mom
20 May Mama Mia’s Heart2Heart
21 May NurtureStore
22 May Living Montessori Now
23 May Mess for Less
24 May Having Fun at Home and CraftoArt
25 May Outlaw Mom
26 May Angelique Felix and Sense of Wonder
27 May Sun Hats & Wellie Boots
28 May Duck Duck Octopus
29 May Smiling like Sunshine
30 May Mommy with Selective Memory
31 May One Perfect Day
1 June The Educators’ Spin On It
2 June Kids Stuff World
3 June Rainy Day Mum
4 June Teach Preschool
5 June Dirt and Boogers
6 June Creative Connections for Kids and The Golden Gleam
7 June Montessori Tidbits
8 June Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
9 June The Iowa Farmer’s Wife
10 June Scribble Doodle and Draw
11 June Learn with Play
12 June Kitchen Counter Chronicles
13 June CRAYON Freckles
14 June Glittering Muffins
15 June Wise Owl Factory
16 June Crafty Maa
18 June Lessons Learnt Journal
20 June Growing a Jeweled Rose
21 June Growing Play
23 June JDaniel4′s Mom