Tips for talking to kids about serious illness (from Harvard Health Publishing):
Be age-appropriate. The amount of detail and complexity will depend on the child's age. Use simple, straightforward language to avoid confusion and feelings of being overwhelmed.
Find a good time and place for the talk. Give yourself enough time to give your child undivided attention. Also, know that you might not have all the answers in this first conversation, so revisit and talk more as needed.
Encourage questions and be prepared for any reaction. Talk about how this affects the child. Kids need to be able to prepare for necessary changes. Some kids might be angry, sad or seem not to react at all. Check in with your child to make sure questions are being asked and catch any delayed reactions that may come up.
Check out these titles to help you start a healthy conversation.