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The Seven Silencing Reasons We Don’t Have Tough Conversations with Our Kids

Sex. Death. Porn. Divorce. Conversations like these often make us squirm in our seats– even before we have these talks with our kids. So what happens? We wait. Sometimes we don’t have them at all.

Why don’t we have these tough conversations?

  1. We don’t know what to say: These conversations don’t exactly role off the tongue. Where do we start? How do we explain it? We feel awkward and out-of-our element. Even if we speak with others for a living, conversations with our favorite little humans can challenge us in ways that co-workers, students or someone else’s kids never could.
  2. They are embarrassing, uncomfortable or emotionally charged: Discussions about sex, divorce or death aren’t easy. There is a lot of emotion behind them that come from our own hang-ups, experiences and hot-buttons– sometimes on both sides. It doesn’t help that the more awkward and emotional we feel about them, the more our children tend to react to and absorb those emotions.
  3. We are afraid that we won’t know all the answers: What if our kids ask us something that we simply don’t know how to answer? We worry about feeling unprepared.
  4. These conversations can feel taboo: Are we supposed to be talking about this stuff? After all, in many cases, our parents didn’t talk about it with us. These are words we usually don’t say or speak about in hushed tones– or at least only with our closest friends.
  5. We feel our kids won’t want to discuss them with us: We may think that the kids would rather do something– anything- rather than talking to us about these tough topics. They might think they are weird, embarrassing or totally off-the-charts gross.
  6. We don’t know when to have them: Are our children really old enough to hear this? How do I say it in a way that won’t scare them? How do I say it so that they understand? When do I start these conversations with my kids?
  7. We assume they already know: This is the ultimate way to bury our heads in the sand. Maybe they already know! Someone must have spoken to them about this stuff– maybe even you- and they are all set now because that talk is crossed off your list.

While there are countless reasons why we don’t want to have these key conversations with our kids– there are just as many reasons why we must. Our kids need us to be open and honest with them so that they know they can trust us, ask us anything, come to us when the sh*t hits the fan or when life gets confusing or uncomfortable. It’s time to get comfortable with getting uncomfortable– let’s have these talks and let’s have them often. Today is as good of a day as any.

Need help? We’ve got the tips and scripts you might need right now- I want to help! With the top experts in their area, my podcast, How to Talk to Kids about Anything, gives tips, scripts, stories and steps to make even the toughest conversations easier. More are added each week. And there is no topic we won’t cover.

We’re here– and you’ve got this!

How to Talk to Kids About Anger & Big Feelings with Wendy Young

Special Guest: Wendy Young

This podcast provides:

Tips:
How to co-regulate
How to get off the anger merry-go-round.
How to use “a bug and a wish.”
How to help kids realize the anger cues
How to construct a mad box and why
How to process the feelings and interactions after the incident is over.
Speaking out loud about our own anger and how we process it
N.O.W. Learn how to Normalize, Offer opportunities/strategies, Work with children on managing big feelings

Scripts:
What to say when your children have big feelings and are showing intensity.
How to help children describe how big their feelings are at that moment.
Helping kids know what to do when they want to engage in negative behaviors- what can we do instead?
How to give hope when helping kids managing big, intense feelings
How to process the feelings after the incident is over
Walking through the steps of calming down our anger out loud.
Exactly what to say when children are in the throws of messy feelings.

How to Talk to Kids About Being Brave with Margie Warrell

Special Guest: Margie Warrell

This podcast provides:

Tips: Specific tips on what to do to help our children take healthy risks and lead a brave life.

Scripts: What to say (and how to show and model) to our kids about getting out of their comfort zone as well as what kinds of risks are worth taking.
How to add bravery into everyday experiences

How to talk to Kids about Empathy and Entitlement with Dr. Michele Borba

Special Guest: Dr. Michele Borba

This podcast provides:

Tips:
How to build empathy in your child
Cultivate 9 habits of empathy such as perspective-taking & self-regulation
Use a baby in the family, a puppy, movies, Facetime to help understand and learn emotion literacy.
How to build the “kind mindset”
The 4 tips navy SEALS are using.
How service can help build altruistic children- match your child’s passion.
Look for moments to talk about feelings and empathy.
Modeling empathy for children.
Family meeting: How do we want to be remembered?
Developing a family motto that supports empathy
Empathy can be nurtured- weave it into daily moments.

Scripts:
What to say when a child is unkind to someone.
What to say when you see empathy in action.
Using the two-kind rule at your dinner table.

How to talk to Kids about the Death of a Pet with Wendy Van de Poll

Special Guest: Wendy Van de Poll

This podcast provides:

Tips:
Plan ahead.
Know the difference between normal and abnormal grief.
Let a child grieve and allow your child to have a full breadth of feelings.
Use real words.
Discuss the life cycle.
Read books to your children about loss
Create scrap books or allow your child to write a letter to your pet

Scripts:
Why not to say “your dog went to sleep” and what to say instead.
How to move towards positive memories.
How to honestly but gently talk to your child when your pet is very sick and death is going to occur soon.
What to say when you are angry and loss is sudden.

Steps
Know the stages of grief and don’t rush them.
Play a positive game.
What do you remember?

How to Talk to Kids about Money: Interview with Neale Godfrey

How do we talk to kids about money and financial responsibility? Last week on How to Talk to Kids about Anything, we spoke to Neale Godfrey, author of 27 books that empower families and kids to take charge of their financial lives. (Access through iTunes, my website, or Stitcher, etc).

This episode focuses on talking to kids (and teaching kids) about money. Why is this important? Raising children who understand money is vital to their future financial health, independence and future fiscal behavior! Children and teens need to learn the value of money as well as how to budget, plan, earn, save, invest and give to causes and charities that mean something to them. Money management is a life skill that all children must learn to become responsible, successful adults.

“If you don’t teach your kids about money, their friends will do it…and they’re all bozos!” ~Neale Godfrey

I can’t wait to hear what you think and how you are going to apply it at home or in your school! And if you love this episode like I did, it would be so awesome to have you subscribe, rate and review it on iTunes so that others learn all about it. And please, feel free to share it!

Happy Listening!

 

How to Talk to Kids about Healthy, Caring Romantic Relationships with Dr. Richard Weissbourd

This podcast will focus on how to talk to kids about healthy, caring, romantic relationships. When you were a teen, who taught you about how to have a mutually beneficial, successful romantic relationship? Who is teaching your teen? Dr. Weissbourd and his team released a report on May 17th called The Talk: How Adults Can Promote Young Healthy Relationships and Prevent Misogyny and Sexual Harassment. This report highlights what adults have NOT been doing to help prevent misogyny among teens and to prepare young people for caring, ethical romantic and sexual relationships. This podcast expands on what Dr. Weissbourd and his team found and how we can personally answer the question: What do we, as key adults in the lives of teens, really understand about healthy, caring romantic relationships and how can we convey this to our kids?

How to Talk to Kids about Money & Financial Responsibility with Neale Godfrey

This podcast will focus on talking to kids (and teaching kids) about money. Raising children who understand money is vital to their future financial health, independence and future fiscal behavior. Children and teens need to learn the value of money as well as how to budget, plan, earn, save, invest and give to causes and charities that mean something to them. Money management is a life skill that all children must learn—so let’s get the information we need right here!

Why you MUST let your children fail

What is the gift of failure?

“Really Gift of Failure is…about fostering intrinsic motivation in kids—getting kids to want to do something for the sake of the thing itself.” ~Jessica Lahey, The Gift of Failure

When children don’t have the opportunity to fail when they are young and stakes are low, they don’t have the skills and resilience to bounce back when then they are older and the stakes are higher. They need to develop the systems and attitude that allow them to go after what they want and need without us, as parents and educators, taking over and doing it for them.

But how do we do it and what do we say to our kids about failure? We talk all about this topic on the new episode of How to Talk to Kids about the Gift of Failure with the fabulous best-selling author, Jessica Lahey! Get it on iTunes here or on our website here! Read more