At some point, all parents will need to talk about an uncomfortable or difficult topic with their children. Whether it is about sex, addiction or a death in the family, parents should be prepared to have an age-appropriate discussion about it, preferably before the child can receive information from other sources.
- Dispense Information Appropriately
Young children do not need to be flooded with technical information the first time they encounter a new topic. Use simple, truthful explanations that they can understand. Older children and teenagers can get more detailed information about how the topic may affect their lives and what they can do about it. If the topic is illegal activities, younger children should know that they are wrong and they can get into trouble, while older children and teenagers should know that they can result in jail time, court cases and the need for bail bonds Harrisburg PA.
- Ask Questions
Children are exposed to information from the media, their peers and other people in their lives. Before jumping into the conversation, parents should ask children what they know about the topic and listen to the answers. Respond calmly and make sure that the children feel they are engaged in a non-threatening conversation instead of being grilled for information.
- Remain Open to Repeat Discussions
As children grow, their need for more detailed information becomes greater. Revisiting difficult topics is likely, especially as children grow more independent and need to exercise their decision-making skills on a daily basis. Find opportunities to bring up difficult topics to remind children what is expected of them and ensure that they have all the tools they need.
Talking to children about difficult topics is an important part of parenting. While the conversations may not always be pleasant, they are necessary to ensure the children can grow into capable adults with a full understanding of the world.