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
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner is shown here at age 10 in this undated childhood family photo.
Courtesy Linda Thompson
PHOTO: Bruce Jenner celebrates after winning 1500M race during Decathlon at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada, July 17, 1976.
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
PHOTO: A female coyote lay in an animal carrier after being captured by Special Operations officers on Manhattan?s west side, Saturday, April 25, 2015, in New York.
New York City Police Department Special Operations Division via AP