Wedding Etiquette Forum
Options

NWR: Advice about daughter?

I could probably find a better board for this, but I have come to "know" you folks better.Yesterday my 11yr old daughter came home from school with the news that one of her classmates has been diagnosed with a brain tumour.  They still need to do a biopsy so at this point it's not known if the tumour is benign or malignant.My daughter and this boy have been in the same class since Grade 1, they are now in Grade 6.  The type of school she goes to, they don't have many kids joining or leaving the class so they are a fairly tight-knit group.  This news had my daughter quite upset last night.After school, she spent a few hours online researching brain tumours and asking a lot of questions.  Normally, she's not allowed to spend that much time on the computer but it seemed like something she needed to do so I gave her a pass for the evening.  She is very interested in medical stories and has already told me which medical school she plans to attend (yes, I know that will probably change) so at this point I don't know if the online research was simply from an interest point of view or if this was her way of coping.Touch wood, I have never had anyone close to me have a serious illness.  I don't know how I would handle the situation if I was given that kind of news.  I know that some people see gathering as much information as they can as a way of dealing with their emotions.  Knowledge is power sort of thing.Myself, I teared up a bit last night when I thought of what this child's parents must be dealing with right now.My question is: in preparation for this evening, assuming she jumps back online (which she may not, I don't know) how far do I let her run with this and when is it time to put my foot down?

Re: NWR: Advice about daughter?

  • Options
    I think the only way to really get an answer to this is to talk to her and see where she's at. If she did a lot of solo research last night, maybe tonight is the night when you sit down with her and ask her about what she learned, if she has any questions. If you don't know the answers to the questions I'd say look up the answer together. The thing about going online for medical info- there's a lot of horror stories out there that don't necessarily apply to the given situation. It may end up making her more upset than is necessary. What a sad thing for that child and his parents.
  • Options
    Although i think it is good for her to understand about tumors I think that if you allow her to continue searching it might freak her out and sometimes the internet is not the most reliable source.
  • Options
    Put your foot down about what?  I don't understand the problem here.  Are you not wanting her to have too much info about brain tumors or are you just not wanting her spending that much time on the internet?
    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Options
    I do not have a child.  But I grew up in a large extended family. I was exposed to death at a very young age.  I didn't let it scare me and I always asked a lot of questions.Knowledge is great, but it can cause fear also.  As long as she is not getting depressed or obsessed with death and dying or being all worried that any and everything might cause harm. I think I would just let it just run it's course.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Options
    I would continue letting her find more information for quite some time, but ditto PPs about horror stories and misinformation, I'd guide her to encyclopedias and take a trip to the library.
    Leo says hi. He's...special.
    image
    Married
    Planning
  • Options
    I would probably sit down with her tonight and ask her about what she learned and how she is feeling about it and then distract her from the internet by suggesting she help brainstorm about what you could do for the boy and his family right now.  Maybe a care package or a handmade card, or whatever ideas she comes up with and then have her focus on that rather than researching the internet.
    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Options
    I would definitely caution her about getting bad information off the internet.  Let her know that's out here, maybe a quick word on what may not be a reputable site.  As far as how to let her run with it, I think that depends.  If she seems more upset after looking, I'd put my foot down I think, and talk to her about it.  But otherwise I think I'd let her have a little more leeway, at least tonight when it's still pretty new.  At some point it's time to go back to normal, but I don't know when that is.

    image
    Everything the light touches is my kingdom.
  • Options
    I unfortunately know way too much about this subject. My stepmother, her father and my maternal grandfather all passed because of a brain tumor. Since this is a new thing for her, I'd let her do a bit of research here and there, but online is not always the best place to look. Especially for kids. She could see things on there that might scare her. If she keeps pressing the issue, in the past a good coping mechanism for my brothers (whose mother is the one that died 4 years ago) and for me is that we have gotten involved with the Brain Tumor Society. They fundraise for brain tumor research. Getting her involved in a more positive, finding a cure driven way might be more constructive rather than her being exposed to what can be a bunch of horror stories online. I hope this made any sense. Let me know if you have any questions at all though.
    AlternaTickers - Cool, free Web tickers
  • Options
    I'm very sorry to hear that.  It's good that you are allowing your daughter to do research and find out factual information, as opposed to hearing rumors at school, which may scare her. If she's in 6th grade, she's probably 11/12?  IMO, she's not too young to do as much research as she wants about this subject, - she can understand the concepts - especially if medical school is something she's considering.  (It's not like it's going to lead to her finding naughty things)  Fostering her interests early may actually cause herto be serious about the medical field, and persue that future for years to come; especially being touched so close by the situation.I know you said that no one close to you has never been through a serious illness.  While you are lucky, it does put you at a disadvantage later in life in not having had to deal with it.  (I liken it to friends that I know that never had pets as children - they never had to deal with the death of a pet as a child, so as an adult, they have a lot more problems coping with loss of friends/family).  I think this may be a great opportunity for your daughter to learn a valuable lesson in life (although, potentially painful)
    Holy Crap. We survived the first year!
    http://tidetravel.weebly.com/index.html
    image
    Lilypie Third Birthday tickersLilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • Options
    I think she's done enough as far as searching the internet. If she's really interested more in brain tumors, tak her to the library and help her find information there. But I think the more important thing to teach her is not about the medical facts of being ill, but rather how you can help someone who is ill. Like Dani said, take a card to him and his family, or put together a care package including some circle words, activity books, maybe one of those hand-held card games, and some snacks. Have her tell you her favorite dinner, and the two of you prepare it for the family to eat on a particular busy or tiring day. If this does end up being a prolonged thing, maybe you could volunteer with her in the local hospital's children's ward. She would probably gain a lot from playing with kids who are stuck in the hospital, and they would certainly appreciate a playmate.
    image
  • Options
    Oh, I agree w/ pps.  Make sure to guide her to reputable sites for research, or take her to the library.
    Holy Crap. We survived the first year!
    http://tidetravel.weebly.com/index.html
    image
    Lilypie Third Birthday tickersLilypie Second Birthday tickers
  • Options
    I'd put a stop to it if it seems like she's becoming obsessive or overly anxious about what she reads.  I'm always wary about looking up medical information online.  There's a lot of info out there, but not a lot of explanation and often a lot of contradicting statements.  It would be horrible if reading all this stuff made her feel worse about the situation, rather than better.As long as she's talking to you about what she reads, though, I don't think you have cause for concern right now.  But (I'm being Captain Obvious here), you know your daughter better than we do, and will have a better sense of when enough is enough. 
    image
  • Options
    Sorry Dani, I mean how long do I let her go on with her research if she is using this a method of coping?  Is there a point where it is no longer helping her cope with her emotions but rather doing her a disservice?I hope that explains what I mean better?I do understand about some of the misinformation on the 'net.  She was very open about asking questions last night so I think if that continues she should be getting the information she needs.
  • Options
    I think as long as you talk to her, it's okay to let her keep looking online.  Why stop her from learning about something she wants to know more about?  Of course, she needs to know that not everything on the Internet is true, but as long as you're talking, it should be fine. 
  • Options
    Hi,I know a lot about pediatric brain tumors (its my specialty).  I can take a few guesses at the type of tumor he has based on his age and sex. I dont know your daughter, but I dont think allowing her to research online on her own is a good idea.  There is way too much information out there for an 11 year old to decipher and pick through.  she will focus on the death rate.  Most hospitals have a child life specialist that is trained to come into schools and talk to classrooms about the illness, what to expect, and what the kids can do for their classmate.   I would tell your daughter that there are all types of tumors, most kids have surgery (scar, and shaved head), will need chemo (most kids) and will lose hair (probably) and feel sick a lot (body gets worn down from the chemo and fighting to put it simply) and will probably miss a lot of school.  Keep things simple and hevae her questions guide you in your responses.  To prepare you- lots of kids with brain tumors will have deficits or develop them due to surgery, the location of the tumor itself, or chemo.  Slurred speech, weakness, gait changes, facial droops, etc are all common.  If he receives steroids he can become cushnoid (bloated gain weight).  Sorry you guys are experiencing this.  If you have any questions, I can answer them. Internet opinion not professional obviously. 
  • Options
    I would not allow her to research this on the internet at all.  Internet diagnosing is the WORST thing you can do.  For someone her age she is going to find the worst possibly scenario's and instead of coping, she'll play the worst possible outcomes out in her head.  Especially since the tumor hasn't even been confirmed one way or the other. 
  • Options
    punky- Thanks for all of that basic information.  I will certainly page you for your internet (not professional) opinion if anything comes up in the future that may need clarification.  Another thread reminded me that today was Tuesday which is our girl time TV night.  Hopefully that will shift my daughter's focus for the evening. 
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards