mother and teenage daughter sitting on a bed, talking

It is not easy talking about difficult subjects with your children. Subjects that may possibly upset them, worry them or give them new information to digest. Subjects such as parents separating, someone passing away, mental health issues or illness. Most parents don’t know where to start when it comes to broaching tricky subjects and if you are one of those parents who is unsure of what to say and how to say it these tips may come in useful.

Tips on Talking About Difficult Subjects

  1. Start to have the conversation you need to have early with your child – possibly before it happens. For example, if you know that a grandparent is not well start to tell them when they are not well rather than leave it until the grandparent is really not going to make it. They will be more likely to accept the situation and understand what is going on and why.
  2. Don’t always wait for your child to notice something is going on. Initiate the conversation with your child and when you do be honest with them. There is no benefit to lying. I am not saying tell them everything but tell them everything you think they need to know given their age and their understanding. Perhaps your child is going to learn about sex education. You may want them to hear a bit about it before they learn it at school.
  3. Talk to them when they are relaxed and use everyday opportunities to talk. Good times to talk are when there is less rushing about. You know when the best times are.
  4. Once you have said what you wanted to let them ask questions and listen to what they want to say. They may ask you lot’s more questions and if they do keep on answering them. Be patient if the questions are repetitive and if at a later stage they come back and ask you more questions or the same ones again.
  5. Share with your children your thoughts and feelings on the subject so they know what your values are if it is relevant to the subject you are discussing. This can relate to subjects such as cyber-bullying, death, illness, drugs etc.

The Parent'sToolkit by The Kids Coach, Naomi Richards - Book Cover

Finally, tread carefully. You may not get the response you expected when talking to your child about difficult subjects so be open-minded.

How have you dealt with talking about difficult subjects with your children? For more reading on having conversations with your child grab a copy of, ‘The Parent’s Toolkit’
Alternatively pick up the phone and we can have a chat about how I can work with your child direct. My phone number is 07961312749.