Having Hard Conversations with Your Kids
Nobody is ever going to tell you, bringing up kids is easy. It can be very challenging, stressful and frustrating at times. There are also times when it’s fun, entertaining and rewarding. Interspersed with these moments you might experience pain and sorrow, as well as embarrassment.
Something else you’ll get to experience is talking to your kids about difficult subjects. As a parent, there are going to be lots of conversations you’d rather not have. They may discuss issues or dangers about life that may be upsetting. Nevertheless, these conversations are necessary. Talking about such subjects can seem very daunting. Of course, it’s going to be tempting to sweep such subjects under the carpet but issues such as these are better dealt with head-on. Instead of waiting for the perfect time or leaving it until your little one starts asking questions, here are some tips on getting the conversation started.
- Think About What You Want to Say – spend some time practicing what you’re going to say. Do it to yourself in the mirror or find another adult that’s going to help. If you plan in advance what you’re going to say it’s going to make the discussion easier. You won’t have to think off the top of your head and you can be prepared for any questions your child decides to ask. If, for example, they ask “how long do cats live?” you can be prepared with the answer because you’ve researched it on the Canna-Pet website.
- Pick a Quiet Moment – it’s best to talk about difficult subjects when there are no other distractions or interruptions. A quiet moment such as after dinner or while making lunch could be the perfect time. It has to be a time when your children have your undivided attention.
- Share Your Feelings – don’t be embarrassed or scared to acknowledge your own feelings when talking to your children. You’re only human after all and being a role model is important for their emotional development. Seeing you get upset and then finding a way to work through, it helps them deal with their own feelings.
- Tell the Truth – always try to lay out the facts in a way they can understand. If your children are still very young, you don’t need to go into too much graphic detail. Try to find a level that suits their age and understanding. Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know” because there are occasions when nothing else can be said.
- Be Reassuring – when you’ve finished the conversation spend some time reassuring them and letting them know you’ll do everything in your power to keep them safe. Make sure they understand that you’re always going to be available if they want to ask any questions or talk about the topic again at any time in the future.
Talking to your children about difficult subjects can be very draining, so remember to take care of yourself. Take a break, exercise, eat well, and do something that’s going to lift the spirits of everyone in the family.