It is so hard to share information with children that might cause them emotional distress. It is also very challenging to talk to them about things that might be personal and uncomfortable for you to discuss.
Knowing how to communicate effectively with children is so very important.
The first thing to remember is to always consider their developmental age and stage.
You never want to give information that is below or above their ability to grasp and comprehend that information.
Timing is critical.
If it is information that is sensitive, potentially life changing and other people already know, you would never want someone else to share that information before you had a chance to do with yourself.
It is always best for you to share the information even if you are doing it before you really wanted to but because you want that information to come from you.
Be prepared to handle questions from your child, even if you have to tell them that you are not sure. You can tell them that you will gather that information and get back to them.
If you say that, make sure you really do it. That is a key component in the building of trust in a relationship. DO what you say you are going to do. Always!!!
Allow them to express their emotions about the subject, even if those emotions are uncomfortable for you to hear or accept. You can support your child without agreeing with their choices.
Keep in mind if you don’t have this conversation with your child somebody else will.
You want to teach your child that there is nothing they cannot talk to you about. There is no subject that is off-limits. You are the person they should come talk to if they need to gather information about anything. Regardless of subject matter, you are 100% there for them.
Do your homework, go slow and share information with your child at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way.
I promise you won’t regret it and it will bring you closer to your child for life.
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