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Smarter Mom: Talking about hard things

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In my neck of the woods, a lot of people are suffering. The hurricane wiped out homes, towns, lives. Granted, things like this have happened almost everywhere in every corner of the world. Yet, this is my kiddo's world, and explaining to her what has happened is on my plate lately. Mix in a few questions about God and Heaven, and this mom is dealing with some heavy and hard topics lately. 

Maybe you have been dealing with hard convos yourself lately...maybe not, but at some point, you think you may...how do you wade into those discussions? Such a good question, and there is no right answer, but here are some to try.

 -- Use books. Check to see if there are some books, with favorite characters or not, that deal with whatever it is you are handling. Best bet is: there will be. It helps kids to read and think about a situation if someone else is going through it.

-- Listen and agree, but follow up. Sometimes all kids need is for you to hear their fears, listen to their thoughts, and agree that is can be scary. But then it is up to you to take it one step further and provide that secure "It will be okay, but it may take time and be different, but still okay" element to the conversation.

-- Be prepared to say I don't know...and share what you do know. Sometimes, these hard things bring up issues and topics that you don't know all the answers about. Tell your kids you don't know, but remind them of the things you do know (they are safe, you are there for them, tomorrow they will go to school). Remembering all of the known things makes those large unknown, perhaps uncertain parts of life more tolerable.

Have you talked about "hard things" with your kids? Share how it went!

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by on Nov. 28, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Nov. 28, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I think books can help, as well as talking about friends who have dealt with the same "hard stuff". My son is learning a lot about different kinds of families right now, and it helps to know that there is no one right way to do things.

Hannahsmommy816
by Platinum Member on Nov. 28, 2012 at 9:18 AM

 we've talked about death to our 3yo (at the time) and it wasnt too bad. We just explained great papa's body is in the ground but his soul is in heaven and he is always with us

fraujones
by Amanda on Nov. 28, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Yes, in the past few months we talked about Hurricane Sandy. And my DD's classmates father dying in the war. And kids who are hungry. 

I use examples and emphasize how important it is to empathize with those who are suffering. I find myself saying "I don't know" to some questions. And we find ways to help: kind words, donations, etc. 

EbonySnow
by Desiree on Nov. 28, 2012 at 10:48 AM

 I have not yet but I know its coming. With her being only 3 I have no idea how we're going to do that.

Juniper53098
by June on Nov. 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM

I try to give them the information they want to know, at a level that they can understand.  Sometimes it's hard, but I do my best.  We've dealt with abuse and divorce with my oldest.  Miscarriage and abortion with my oldest 2.   Menstruation with my youngest 2.

inmybizz
by Gold Member on Nov. 28, 2012 at 12:47 PM

I try to give my daughter information. We talk about whatever the issue is. I try not to get too detailed and overwhelm with info- sometimes it's best to let her process info and then ask me questions.

SweetLuci
by Luci on Nov. 28, 2012 at 1:02 PM

 We talk about whatever comes up in the family, and try to answer her specific questions, depending on the age, as she asks. We are also news junkies, so she has asked lots of questions about different things, bad circumstances that happen, and we explain it briefly and then say, "tell me what you think", that sometimes brings up misinformation that she has heard at school, and we can correct it.

bether89
by Ruby Member on Nov. 28, 2012 at 1:14 PM

 We have recently had several friends of our family pass away, so we have what happens when you die has been a topic that we have discussed.

Bradensmommy719
by Anji on Nov. 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM
This.might sound bad but I have hunny explain it. He is better with words and I get emotional. with the fire this summer hunny started the conversation with bean and I could help explain some things.
The beginning of the month I avoided the conversation about what a funeral home is cuz hunny wasn't around so I didn't go to grandpa Pete's wake. I had no words on how to explain it. Yes he does know what death is and that is happens
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GwenMB
by Member on Nov. 28, 2012 at 5:21 PM

My boys are aware of Sandy & other things like that since we watch a lot of news so we do discuss everything to the extent they ask.


At some point, we will have to discuss death on a more personal level since my grandma is 89 & they are close to her.

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