By the American Psychological Association

Parents want to protect their children and keep them safe. It can be particularly devastating to learn that your child has a chronic illness such as diabetes, cancer or juvenile arthritis. By managing your own emotions during this time, you and your child can experience greater well-being.

Stress and emotions

When a child is diagnosed with chronic illness, it’s ordinary for parents to feel guilt and sadness. Anger is also common. You may feel angry toward your partner, the world at large or even, at times, toward your child. These feelings are normal.

Addressing your child’s medical condition directly is the best way to move forward. A study of parents of children with cancer found those parents who took action and focused on the problem experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression than parents who denied or avoided the situation.

To read this article in it’s entirety, visit

Thanks to psychologist Teri L. Bourdeau, PhD, ABPP, who assisted with this article.

Reproduced with permission from “When your child is diagnosed with chronic illness: How to cope.” Retrieved from    Copyright  2017 American Psychological Association. 




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