The world is a scary place for any adult, and much more so for children. Here are three situations in which talking to your child is necessary in order to help them positively cope.
Death of a Family Member
The death of a family member can be a difficult event for a child, especially one who has never had to deal with something like that before. It is important that you talk to them to help them understand the concept of death, and help them learn about what happens once someone they love passes away. Before you talk to them, you could ask them some questions to assess their level of understanding about death. Doing so can help you decide what to say.
As you talk with your child, according to What’s Your Grief, it’s important to be open and honest. Even if you feel uncomfortable talking about death, it’s important to be clear so that your child is able to process this new information in a safe way. Avoid being vague or using euphemisms such as “they left us” “they’re sleeping” “she passed away”; these phrases can create misunderstanding and confusion.
Moving to a New City
Moving can be difficult for any adult, but it can be even more traumatizing for children. According to On the Move, children often see moving as disruptive rather than a change to try something new. If you plan to move to a new city, it’s a good idea to talk to your children about your plan as early as possible. This will help them feel included in your family, as well as give them time to wrap their minds around the situation. Consider holding a family meeting in which you give your children all the information they need, and then allow them to be upset, ask questions, and talk.
Communication is essential when talking with your children about divorce. Especially if your children are young, their two parents are foundational to their understanding of the world. According to Equitable Mediation, divorce can be a scary topic for kids to encounter, so it’s essential to help ease their anxieties as much as possible.
As you talk to your children about divorce, make sure to reassure them that they are loved, that the divorce is not their fault, and that they will be safe, regardless of what happens between their parents. It’s a good idea to prepare a plan in advance for talking about divorce with your children, and anticipate any questions they might have.
There’s no set method to explaining these scary situations; every child is different and unique. Just make sure to be open to questions, honest in your answers, and devote time to reassuring your child that everything will be okay.
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