As the close of October, and breast cancer awareness month approaches, how do we explain how all the pretty pink disappears to the children? After all, it really is the prettiest time of the year outside of December, when snow and icicles are everywhere! There are ways to keep kids aware when the pink disappears.
From pink police cars, fire trucks, waterfalls, and even airplanes, everyone is aware of breast cancer, and if you were every afraid to wear pink – it is absolutely ok during the month of October. Some say Susan G Komen foundation stole the idea from a breast cancer survivor who originally used a salmon colored ribbon? We may never know when or why the color pink is the symbol, and it’s too late now – October everywhere is decked out in pink.
So how do we keep the spirit of awareness in kids when all the pink goes away, or is it even possible? Is the pink ribbon wrapped around the month of October so interwoven into society that is may be utterly impossible to be aware in any other month? One thing is true … breast cancer patients are diagnosed everyday all around the world regardless of whether there is pink in the room.
Kids need to learn compassion early, and have it stem from a place of awareness that does not stop. Parents have the precious opportunity to make sure kids are aware of patients more than they are of people, places, and things that are pink.
Here are a 5 ways parents can keep kids aware even after the month of October, and moreover – when the pink disappears:
1. The color pink is only a symbol associated with breast cancer, and not breast cancer itself. Making this point clear is half the battle.
2. Allow your kids to meet a bc survivor and ask questions. If you don’t have friends or family, here’s a website where the women have chosen double mastectomies and chose not to have implants nor reconstruction. The younger your children are when they look at some of the pictures, the easier it is for them. As girls, they may not have grown breasts yet, so it won’t appear weird as with older girls: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Boldandbreastless/279317845420376
3. Try to get involved in something related to breast cancer that is not in October, and doesn’t necessarily include the color pink. Better yet, start a movement of your own.
4. Be sure to help your kids understand the difference between breast cancer awareness month, and breast cancer patients and survivors. They are not all in agreement with industry practice. Here’s a video that will help you explain this: http://youtu.be/YRjMnFDCizk
5. Take your children into an Oncology center. There will be many patients their receiving treatment. This may be a shock at first, but the impact will last a lifetime. Be sure to exit if this experience is too much.
So long for now breast cancer month 2014, we will see you again next year. Until then, October will return to its original position as number 10 on the calendar and the color pink will go back in the crayola box as a questionable color for most.
Check out the slide show to get a glimpse of celebrities who are breast cancer survivors. You might be surprised at how easy it is to talk to kids about these things if they can recognize someone who has been afflicted.