When a Child Is Diagnosed: A Psychologist's Advice

GOODHEART: I think that probably the only mistake you can make is lying to the child, and not advocating for the child.

Because children are not adults, they cannot advocate for themselves. They need the best treatment possible. If they're dying, they need the best palliative care. They need to be made comfortable. The role of a parent is to do that yourself or, if you're unable to do it, to find someone to do that.

ABC NEWS: Do families ever emerge stronger from an experience like this?

GOODHEART: Absolutely. People often say to a mother or father, I don't know how you do this, I couldn't do it. The truth is, you don't have a choice and you do it the best you can. There's no blueprint for how to go through this. Often, people not only survive, but they thrive. And that's an important message because, yes, some children die of cancer. But some children live, and the families go on.

ABC NEWS: What happened with your granddaughter?

GOODHEART: She was treated many years ago, and although she does have continuing medical problems because of the treatments, she is a healthy, active child growing up now.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Apple Pay is demonstrated at Apple headquarters on Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Defendant Jodi Arias testifies about killing Travis Alexander in 2008 during her murder trial in Phoenix, Feb. 20, 2013.
Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo
PHOTO: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, their daughter North West and Delphine Arnault attend the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2015, Sept. 28, 2014 in Paris.
Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/French Select/Getty Images