How Can I Discuss Difficult Topics with My Child?

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As parents our job and our wish is to protect our children from difficulties, and stress and there are times when we can't do that, we can't do that completely but we still have a very important role in providing information to our children about difficult topics, in fact we're the best ones for that job, so if you're facing in your family a job loss, an illness, a death of a family member, a need to relocate all of these situations immediately bring anxiety for parents because we're thinking how this is going to so rock our child's world, what do we do but they are very concrete things to do, first of all take your time don't rush into immediately telling your child information when you don't feel like you kind of have a grasp of how you want to talk about it yourself, so don't rush in, know that you can keep going back to the conversation, keep going back to the topic, so you're going to say just a little bit at a time.

Be concrete rather than complete, kids want to know how is this going to affect them, that's a big focus for them, so what you want to talk about is what's going to change in their life for instance if there's a relocation or a job change or something along those lines what's going to change in their life and what's going to stay the same.

Also focus on what your child can do to help if there is a situation for instance, if there's a need for moving or there's an illness in the family, we cope better when we have something to do. Maybe your child can make a get well card, or sympathy card, or they can collect food, help you cook something for the family member who's not well.

When kids are busy with those kinds of projects they feel more in control and that helps to counter those feelings of helplessness that they may come up in a stressful situation.