How To Talk To Kids About Tough Topics
Talking to kids about tough topics is hard enough. Let this article help you through it.
As a parent, one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do is talking to your kids about tough topics. You want to protect them but, at the same time, you also want them to know what life is really about.
On one level, you can feel guilty as a parent. You brought them into the world, now they have to deal with the challenges that it brings.
How specifically you talk to your child about difficult subjects depends on their ages. However, the following tips can be helpful.
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Wait For The Right Moment
When it comes to difficult subjects, timing is everything. You want to introduce tough conversations when everyone feels relaxed and happy. You also need to check whether they are willing to have the discussion in the first place. If they’re not, you’ll meet resistance.
The next step is to give your child some context. Having broader understanding will help them better understand the issue that you are raising with them.
When it comes to things like death, you can talk about how it happens to every living thing, but that there are ways of preserving the memory of people who pass away, such as cremation ash pendants.
If it is a race-based issue you’re discussing, then you can talk about the history of it, and why conflict exists. You can also point out that people have different views on the matter, and why that might be.
For sex, you don’t want to come down to heavy. The goal here is to simply point out the physical, emotional and financial risks that it entails.
Look For The Positives
Positives are hidden in most of life’s negatives, so it is worth pointing these out. Even the worst situations can lead to personal growth, new life and other improvements.
Make Them Feel Safe
Kids might want to discuss tough topics with you, but if they don’t feel safe, then they won’t be as open as you might like. You might want them to speak freely, but they need to feel a certain level of psychological safety to do so.
Don’t get into disagreements or fights with them. Just allow them to explain their reasoning, and then put yours forward.
Talk About Your Values
Another thing you can do is bring your values into the conversation. Talk about how you personally use these to process the difficult things that happen in life.
Think About Solutions
In some cases, it can be helpful to run through some of the solutions that apply to difficult subjects. For instance, if you’re dealing with the topic of death, you might talk about things like acceptance or the afterlife, depending on your persuasions. You might point out that life continues or that once we accept that life ends, it makes it more enjoyable today.
You can ask general questions, such as “if you were in charge of the universe, how would it operate?” When you explore these questions in detail, you can help your child understand why things are the way they are.
Are you looking for help with bedtime routine, then take a look at this article: Bedtime Routines for Energetic Kids.