Reality: Parents mean well by not talking to young children about cancer or death – they’re often trying to protect them. Research shows that when children as young as two aren’t included in discussions about serious illness and death, they still react. Children pick up on what’s going on around them and fill in the blanks themselves, letting their imaginations run rampant as they engage in magical thinking. This is where misconceptions come from. Being left alone with your thoughts and fears is stressful – children need support and explanations. When you’re honest with children, you build trust, making them feel more secure. Encourage questions and offer honest, age-appropriate answers.