Discussing certain topics with your child can be difficult. Something may occur in the family or circle of friends; a topic appears on television or news feed, changes in life or circumstance occur, then questions are asked to help the child understand their world. Whatever the reason, when your child does start discussing these matters, responses are needed from the parents.
There are a few points to consider when you feel the need to have a difficult discussion. It is often better to advise the child directly, so they avoid imagining things worse or confusing.
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It is necessary to use the language a child can understand and speak to them in an age-appropriate manner. Reasons are an important aspect of any discussion for a child. The why, how come and what does this mean questions require a response.
When discussing the death of someone
We must first point out that death is part of life and when we live, we live happy with those that love us and now the person has left us in body while remaining in our hearts and thoughts. This prepares the child for the news.
When it comes to a divorce situation
Begin by sharing that mum and dad have been arguing a lot and that is making everyone unhappy, and we all want to be as happy as we can. We reiterate how much mum and dad love the child and if dad is moving out, how much they will continue to see dad and call him all the time whenever they want. Advise them it isn’t bad, just a little different for a while if the two of you are trying to sort the issues out.
When discussing a relocation
There is often a good reason why. Perhaps it is closer to family, a new larger home, a new city where a lot of great activities occur or a better job paying more so the family can do a lot more fun things. If remaining in touch with friends is important to let your child know that they can call or speak to their friend on phone, Skype or social media all the time and school holidays they can visit.
If financial hardship is experienced
It is important to share this with your child as a temporary event, which it can be. Explain something has occurred at this time which will make things difficult or tight. They may not be able to do the things or get the items they want. Let them know this is for a little while, so they don’t start future projecting life is always tough.
We of course always want to protect our child however it can advantage them to know some truth and ease the story for them. We need to inform them as you believe they should be aware, depending on their age.
Always allow them to ask, clarify, cry or yell at whatever has happened. They will settle down. Their responses are always correct for them, and we should never dismiss their emotions as silly.
Be there, support them, watch out for them, listen and talk with them as often as they want and need. Hugs go a long way to help them feel connected and comforted as well.
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