How Parents Can Discuss Any Subject Matter With Their Young Children or Teenagers

Dealing with difficult subject matters and having sensitive discussions is a part of life. However, when it comes to children broaching such topics can be challenging. Yet, if you know how to approach and explain these difficult topics so they can understand them in a thoughtful and age-appropriate way, the discussions will be less stressful and the resulting better for all involved.

If you are a parent take the time to review this set of general guidelines, as well as more specific suggestions for handling certain topics in order to arm yourself for those challenging discussions that are sure to come.

General Guidelines for Explaining Difficult Topics

No matter what the subject, there are certain principles that can be applied. Knowing what they are will give you a good base for your talk with your young children or teenagers.

Don't overwhelm them with details. Let your child be the guide and follow their lead as to how much information to give.

Remember to be age-appropriate with the amount and type of information you share. Details a teenager might be able to handle would not be assimilated the same way by a younger child.

Break down data in a way would benefit or address the concerns of the child in question.

Allow children to ask their own questions and respond honestly. Encourage openness.

Incorporate your family values into difficult discussions. If you are not sure how you feel about a certain topic or conversation your child what's to have, be honest, share your ambiguous feelings to your children. It is okay to let them know that you do not have all the answers, but that you can and will research the topic and try to find the answers they need.

If you want to have a discussion with your child plan an activity together, and have the necessary discussion while you are both busy at work or play.

While some topics may arise out of the blue, some are predictable. Therefore, plan to talk to your child earlier than necessary about subjects that are bound to come up. That way you will beat their peers to the subject!

Listen carefully to what your child to say about whatever topic is being discussed. You will gain clues on how much you should tell them or what they really want and needs to hear-what their concerns really are. Be patient with yourself and your child, talk as long as your child needs to.

Talking About Divorce

If a child is concerned that his parents may divorce but their relationship is healthy, he or she needs to be reassured of that. They also need to know that some arguing amongst adults is normal. The child simply needs reassurance that his family unit is stable and intact.

But if divorce is looming on the horizon, the conversation will be very different. However, it should always begin and end with reassurance. Tell them that they will always be loved and that will never change. Children need to be reminded that no part of the decision to divorce is a reflection on them.

Always addressed the general topic of divorce in a factually manner with an explanation that it is a reality for many families.

Talking About The Concept Of Being Gay

Whether the topic comes up as a generality or if a child asks about the same-sex parent of a friend or neighbor, the subject matter of being gay is another discussion that some parents are unease about or not prepared to have. This is an area where your values may come into play so you might want to tackle it form a factually point of view.

You can explanation to your child that some people happen to love another person who just happens to be of the same-sex. For a young child, this should be sufficient. For a teenager, the discussion regarding sexual orientation may be more complicated and fraught with legal and moral issues. No matter how you choose to handle this be open, and encourage your children to treat everyone as he would want to be treated. Remind them that whether or not a person is gay has no impact on their humanity.

Talking About The Death Of A Parent Or Loved One

Death is one of the most difficult subjects to bring up with children or teenagers. Nevertheless, when faced with it, there is no shying away from it. Communicating effectively about the topic can greatly help young people deal with loss.

Discuss the physical aspects of death, such as illness that couldn't be cured; injury that could not be fixed; and how bodies simply stop working at one point. In regards to the spiritual realm of death, values and religion reign. Share what your family believes. Comfort your children with the idea that death does not change love. Allow your child to openly express their feelings, be sure to provide a safe and judgment free environment for them to do so.

Talking About Strip Clubs

When your child notices the strip club on the highway on the way to school or church, you will most likely face another uncomfortable conversation. Luckily, this discussion does not touch close to home, so it can be dealt with in generalities as you discuss the choices some people make. Be sure to make it a life lesson. You can also explain that just like children have play area, such as amusement parks which are just for them, so does adults. Simply tell children that a strip club is place where some grown-ups chose to go to have fun.

Talking About Sex, Pregnancy And Where Babies Come From

Talking to your children about sex, pregnancy and where babies come from is one of those inevitable discussions that every parent has to have. One of the most important things to remember is to be timely with that discussion. If possible talk about the subject before your child hears about it from friends or classmates. So, you would want to start early on this topic. Simply as questions arise, answer them honestly, with small children being brief and simplistic is very important, don't divulge more information than is absolutely necessity.

Keep in mind that before deciding to introduce any difficult subject with your young children or teenager, have a game plan. Know how much information you want to share. Plan to be responsive to their input. And when subjects come up unexpectedly staying calm and being honest will save the day. Share appropriately to create a well-balanced child who know they can also came or look to they family for help in understanding the tough things in life.

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