Sharing Difficult News with Your Children
Friday, April 27, 2018
One of the most challenging things about being a parent is developing an open and honest communication with your child. By studying in an international school in Manila, he is exposed to various programs that provide guidance in his school life.
But what happens if you have to deliver bad news,
Understandably, you will be put in a tough situation, particularly since the first thing you want to do is to protect him from experiencing painful emotions. When it comes to moments like these, be prepared to offer him your full support and nurturing wisdom. But worry not! You don’t have to do it alone.
Here are some guidelines to help you tackle this conversation:
Take Time to Think and Reflect on What You are Going to Say
Deal with your grief first because you need to let your child know that it is okay to feel sad and upset.
Oftentimes, it is not advisable that you immediately jump right into breaking the bad news to him without having thought about how you are going to go about it first.
Make sure that you, yourself, have everything straightened out and practiced before you proceed to have the tough talk.
Choose the Most Appropriate Moment
The best time to break difficult news is during the quieter moments of the day because it is when your child can offer his full attention.
Pick a calm and quiet place that is free of any distraction for you to have an uninterrupted discussion.
Validate Your Child’s Feelings and Share Yours
Listen to what your child has to say, and be patient with him.
Express your own feelings to your child. Sometimes it makes a big difference when he sees your vulnerability as a parent; it makes him have a better sense of you as a role model because it makes him feel more connected to you.
Stick to the Truth
Be specific with the various facts surrounding the event or tragedy in order to help maintain your child’s rational security as well as contain his anxiety.
Put your child’s age into consideration and be sure to articulate things in a way that he understands very clearly. But be completely honest with him. Do not sugarcoat things or resort to using terms like “went to sleep” or “went away for a long holiday” as substitute terms for death.
Lastly, understand that there is a high possibility that your child may become upset again at a later time. Remind him that you can talk about it again if he feels the need to.
Sharing difficult news is one of the most challenging aspects of parenthood. If you find yourself stuck and overwhelmed, do not hesitate to seek advice from professional experts such as the life coaches available in the best international schools in Manila.