The impact of terminal illness on a child 3/3

The impact of terminal illness on a child 3/3

In the previous blog, we talked about the questions that arise. In this blog we will look into the coping mechanisms that children employ.

As a matter of coping, some children elaborate their pain and agony in play, others by colouring or other activities that they find serenity in. Some less positive ways of coping are acting out, aggressive behaviour or anger issues. Such coping methods would need some attention to avoid further damage. It is a good idea to inform the school administration and teaching staff about the situation at home so the child does not get punished or told off because he/she is acting out.

From what you can see, it is rather a complex matter and some guidance on how to handle the situation is advised. Professionals that one can refer to are psycho-oncologists, parent coaches, school counsellors depending on the child’s needs.

Returning back to the analogy of the garden, knowledge and help nourishes the experience of having a child witnessing a family member fight a terminal illness just like water and nutrients nourish the flower to become bolder and healthier.

Danica Cassar is a third year psychology student at the University of Malta. She is the Triage Manager at 


+356 7929 1817