Having tough conversations with children isn’t easy. Many parents feel uncomfortable talking about certain topics with their children for a range of valid reasons. It’s important to note that feeling uncomfortable talking about tough topics is common and nothing to feel ashamed about. Below we have listed several reasons why parents may find it difficult to talk with their children, and things you can do to make it easier;
- Fear of saying the wrong thing: Parents may worry that they will say something incorrect or harmful, or that they will not be able to answer their child’s questions adequately. They may also be concerned about unintentionally saying something that could hurt their child’s feelings or cause them to feel anxious or scared.
- Fear of causing discomfort or distress: Parents may worry that discussing tough topics like mental health, sexual health, family breakdown or illness may cause their child to feel upset or uncomfortable. They may want to shield their child from negative emotions and experiences, and therefore avoid discussing them.
- Lack of knowledge or experience: Parents may not feel confident in their own knowledge or experience with certain topics, especially if they have not personally experienced them. They may worry that they do not have the necessary information or tools to address their child’s questions or concerns.
- Cultural or generational differences: Parents may come from a different cultural or generational background than their child, which can make it difficult to discuss tough topics that may not have been openly discussed in their own upbringing.
- Personal discomfort: Discussing tough topics can be uncomfortable and emotionally taxing for parents as well. They may have their own unresolved feelings or experiences related to the topic, which can make it challenging to approach the conversation in a calm and supportive manner.
It’s important for parents to recognise these challenges and work to overcome them in order to have open and honest conversations with their children about tough topics. Seeking support from other parents, professionals, or community resources can also be helpful in navigating these discussions.
At Standing Strong we’ve created a special online resource to help parents and children improve their communication and connection around difficult topics. If you’d like to help you child navigate tough topics and you could use a little support CLICK HERE to learn more about the Standing Strong online resources.