Harvard Health Books

Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child When a Parent is Sick

When a parent is sick it can be an enormously challenging time for the whole family. The child’s reaction to and understanding of the situation may be the hardest issue for a parent to address. And helping children cope can be especially difficult when the parent is dying.

Child psychiatrists Paula Rauch, MD, and Anna Muriel, M.D. have helped many families who have had to face this painful reality through a program Dr. Rauch created at the Massachusetts General Hospital called Parenting at a Challenging Time (PACT).

This highly regarded initiative has touched the lives of parents and children who need support and guidance through the process of illness, grieving and healing. In their new book Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child When a Parent is Sickthey can reach out to more families across the country who are dealing with the complexities of caring for the specific needs of children while tending to their own serious medical conditions.

The authors explain in a clear, sensitive and compassionate style what children can understand at various ages and provide suggestions about appropriate ways to explain illness to them based on their maturity and level of understanding.  The book also provides much-needed information about:

  • Maintaining key daily routines to maximize a child’s sense of security
  • Creating child-centered family time
  • Facilitating ongoing communication between parents and children
  • Understanding how a parent’s symptoms can affect each child
  • Addressing questions about hospital visits, changes in a parent’s appearance, and other specific concerns
  • And more…

By helping parents understand their child’s stage of development, temperament, emotions and possible reactions at a difficult time, Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child When a Parent is Sick supports parents as they encourage and foster their child’s resiliency, emotional health, and well-being.

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (December 21, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0071446818
ISBN-13: 978-0071446815
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches

McGraw Hill