How do I discipline my child while they’re having treatment?

There’s some advice you need that you can only get from those who’ve been there. That’s why we’ve asked parents who’ve been through similar experiences to share their thoughts on topics that you’ve told us you’d like tips, advice and guidance on.

Unsure about how to deal with difficult behaviour after your child’s diagnosis? Take a look at the tips from other parents below.

It’s hard to say no  

Your child may be in pain or discomfort and when this is the case, it can be really difficult to discipline them – it’s completely understandable and you’re not the only one who feels like this. 

It's so hard, because on one hand you think they've been through so much, but on the other hand, I want him to be a nice person when he grows up.

Try to keep to your normal routine  

Sticking to how you’d normally treat your child can be one of the most effective things you can do to help keep their behaviour under control.  

When our daughter was diagnosed, we were given great advice by our Young Lives vs Cancer nurse to treat her exactly the same as we had prior to diagnosis and stuck to that as best we could.

Use charts or guides   

Using star charts to reward behaviour, or written rules on a guide can serve as reminders and motivations for your child to behave as you’d like them to.  

We have a long way to go but what has worked well is using a reward chart – we add things like have good manners, being kind, being brave, taking medicine.

Keep siblings involved  

If your child has siblings, it can be helpful to make sure that all your children are following the same rules, to help your child remember boundaries.  

We stuck to the same rules as before diagnosis – we have seven children, so we couldn't just let the rule book go out the window, or it would have been total chaos.

It’s ok to treat them  

Disciplining your child is hard when they’re going through this difficult time, and it’s natural to want to make them feel better.  

We didn’t make it a regular thing, but it’s ok to spoil them with a treat when they have a horrible treatment.

We’ve asked parents to share their tips and advice from their own experiences and what they’ve found helpful. But if you are worried about your child’s behaviour, talk to your doctor who will be able to give you more advice and guidance.

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