- Question from rooster: Does seeing mom bald traumatize a child? How important is it to appear 'normal'?
- Answers - Joan Hermann Seeing a mother bald does not traumatize a child if they know that that's an expected side effect, and if everyone is prepared when it's going to happen. Mom can wear a turban, hat, wig or whatever, because being bald is a sign that the treatment is working. There is nothing wrong with mothers saying to their children. "This upsets me, too. I hate looking at myself in the mirror, but this is only temporary—my hair will grow back."
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. Some women I've taken care of have made a joke of their baldness. Their children have put temporary tattoos on their heads. They've done playful things like that, giving their children permission.
- Joan Hermann The mother's attitude is enormously helpful. There may be times when mothers actually fake it, when they pretend that it's not as awful as it feels inside, so their children don't perceive it as a terrible thing that's happened. What I mean by that is that the woman may feel absolutely dreadful, but if she lets all her feelings become unleashed on the child, that can feel overwhelming to the child.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Kids and Mom's Breast Cancer featured Joan Hermann, L.S.W. and moderator Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about talking to your kids about breast cancer.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in August 2000.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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