Drugs. Sex. Violence. Divorce. Death. How are parents supposed to talk about these tough topics with children? Our children are growing up in a world where temptation and troubles seem to lie around every corner. The parents of Parent Soup took it upon themselves to work on their communication skills in the Talking About Tough Topics Community ChallengeTM. Because learning how to have honest communication with our children is the most important skill we as parents can develop. Here are some of the solutions the Parent Soup members learned on their quest to become better communicators with their kids.
How Old Should Kids To Be Have Serious Conversations?
"I think it's important to start talking to children about their feelings as soon as possible, even three years old. In my experience, it helps them to start learning to recognize their own feelings and understand how important they are -- or you wouldn't be asking about them. I've found it also gives kids better self-esteem, because you're telling them that their feelings count, even when they're the youngest ones in the room. I've seen this pay off during the teen-age years when 'tough topic' conversations can occur on almost any given day. If they already know they can trust you, and are more comfortable with their emotions from earlier conversations, you've already gotten a lot of the work done, at a time when a bad decision on their part may affect the rest of their lives. So don't delay."
~ A Parent Soup member
Creating a Supportive Atmosphere
"So often my daughter and I get stuck in a rut of 'No no no no,' 'Stop it,' 'Don't do that,' and it makes us both feel so negative about everything. One day, I was sick to death of all the negative comments and feelings. To turn it around, I started asking positive questions. It was amazing how quickly a whiny little girl and a grouchy mommy were transformed into happy people again! Yesterday we talked about what we like about each other and ourselves. This morning, we decided that complimenting a person makes us both feel good."
~ Parent Soup member KJOHLING