Telling people

It’s only natural that family and friends will be worried and want to know about your child. You can decide how much you want to share with others about your situation and when to share it.

What should I say to family and friends?

You may want to be very private as you adjust to your situation. Equally, you may feel it is important to talk to or to share information with others. You may feel able to pass on this information yourself, or you could ask someone else in the family to let people know on your behalf.

This can be a very challenging time for relationships as you and your family come to terms with your new situation. It is important to be as open and honest as possible about your feelings and fears so that you can support each other and make decisions that are right for you.

Try and ignore people who tell you what you should be doing, or how you should be feeling, as only you know how you feel or what you can do each day. Try not to worry about other's people's feelings, as just coping with yourself and your family is hard enough at this time. 

Dealing with other people

People may find it difficult to understand how your life has changed. They will try to be supportive but they may not know how to approach you or how to talk to you about what you are going through.

You might find that people you had been close to drift away as they are not able to cope with painful emotions. Other people may surprise you and be supportive and helpful in ways that you would not have imagined. 

Some people's comments might help, or you may find them unhelpful, some may even seem hurtful or insensitive, even if they aren’t meant to be. It’s not unusual for people to find it hard to know what to say, or what words to use, even when they mean well.

Reviewed July 2014, next planned review 2017