How can my child stay in touch with school friends during 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.

Want to make sure your child is in touch with their school friends during treatment? Take a look the tips from other parents below.

Help them understand

It can be really helpful to explain the situation to the other pupils in your child’s class or school, if you and your child are happy to do this. It can be helpful for other children to understand more about cancer and allows them to talk about their feelings. Preparing others and helping them understand can also prevent your child from being singled out or teased.

Our award winning ‘Cancer and school life’ pack can help teachers communicate about cancer confidently to other pupils. Order it now from our publications library.

CCLG have a booklet ‘I have a friend who has cancer’ that you could share with any of your child’s school friends. Download or order it from CCLG here.

Play dates

Arranging play dates for your child helps keep them touch with their friends at school, even if they aren’t seeing them every day. It also lets you put a time limit on playing depending on how your child is feeling.

Have little short play dates such as brunch or afternoon tea so it's not too tiring and put a firm time on when people leave.

We had some crazy sleepovers on breaks inbetween which was a great way to touch base and something to look forward to.

Get with the tech

If they can’t see them in person, using video via apps or the internet is the next best thing. Letting your child see and engage with their friends can keep them feeling included and in touch.

Use technology like FaceTime, Skype or video via WhatsApp to let your child chat to their friends.

Involve the whole family

Involving and making an effort to keep in touch with your child’s friends’ families can help make sure you’re still staying connected and can make it easier for your child to see their friends during treatment.

Be active in inviting friends round and involve the other child’s parents, like inviting their family for dinner.

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 keeping in touch with their school friends during treatment, talk to your treatment team or your contact at your child’s school, who may be able to give you more information and advice.

Do you need more information and advice about education? Young Lives vs Cancer has partnered with Contact, the charity for families with disabled children, who can offer specialist advice on a range of issues including education and learning support.

Your Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker will be able to give you more information about how to access their services, or you can find out more about how to get in touch with Contact here.

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