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Patient Advocate Foundation
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Helping Teens Cope with Serious Illnesses

Parents can help teen-agers better cope with serious illnesses. Here are a few tips from The Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk, VA.

  • Keep up regular rules and disclipine as much as possible. Teens need some sense of normalcy in their lives.

  • Be truthful when you answer teens' questions about their illness. Teens can become very angry and scared if they think there are secrets about them.

  • Remember that teens need time alone and with their friends, even if they are sick. Give them some space and let them have fun.

  • Let teens help make decisions about their care. They are old enough to know what is happening to them - and to let you how they feel about it.

  • Reassure teens that while it's important to stay positive, it's also OK to be afraid and to cry. Discuss your own emotions with them to help them feel less alone.

  • Give compliments and hugs often.

How to Contact CHKD

601 Children's Lane
Norfolk, VA 23507

(757) 668-7500 or (800) 395-2453

Important: Please note that any messages sent to this or any address found on the CHKD web site cannot be considered confidential or private. It is CHKD's practice to respond to your message in a timely manner and to share your thoughts within their organization. CHKD will not, however, share your e-mail address or the content of your message with outside organizations or solicitation firms without your permission.