The following Web site might be of help to you as you begin to think about talking with your child:
Here are some additional tips:
- Before answering, it is a good idea to ask your child what she already knows about the topic in question.
- Be honest with your answers, but choose your words and explanations according to the child's understanding, and don't overload the child with too much information.
- Try to give answers that give hope and faith and are reassuring, but again, don't lie or give false hope or unrealistic promises.
- Be ready to answer the same question repeatedly. As has been found in several studies, even if parents do talk to children about difficult topics, children might later not remember it. So you need to have these discussions often. For a child, repeating a question might also be a form of getting reassurance.
- You don’t have to have all the answers. Its okay to say, ‘I don’t know,’ but I will let you know as soon as I understand it better. The most important thing is that your children can feel you care about them.
Michelle Bostian, Lower School Counselor