Talking to Kids about Bad News

No matter how much adults try to keep ‘bad things’ from affecting children, there is always going to be a time when they have to encounter bad news. Instead of keeping it from them, you are much better off learning how to speak to them about whatever it is you need to. Of course, you need to use age-appropriate language and change how you address each issue depending on the maturity level of the children. Here are a few ways in which you can make the whole process easier and more manageable.

Guide the Conversation

It is up to you as the adult in the situation to be the one who is guiding the conversation. Before you have the talk, it is important that you think about what you are going to say. Try to preempt any questions that your kids have by coming up with answers beforehand. Find a quiet moment in which you can tell them the news which is as free from distractions as possible. Discover what, if anything, they already know and go from there. Try to share what you are feeling with your kids to encourage empathy and tell the truth as much as possible. Finally, your job is to provide reassurance. Even if things aren’t going to go back to exactly how they were, you can still offer some good feelings about the future.


Take Care of Yourself

You may be so worried about the kids that you end up forgetting to take care of yourself. Make sure to set aside some time for yourself to engage in whatever stress-relieving activity you find helpful. Exercise is something which improves both your physical and mental wellbeing. Meditation is also an activity which many people have found effective in the past. Also, you should try to organise some fun activities for the whole family which take everyone’s minds off what is going on.


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Seek Support from Others

When you are going through tough times, it can feel like you are all by yourself. But shutting off from the world only serves to make your issues worse, so you should seek support from the people in your life who are closest to you whether they are friends or family members. There are some situations in which you require a little bit more than just friendly advice, so you should get professional support wherever this is appropriate. It may be from a counsellor, a psychiatrist or a legal professional. In serious situations, you may need the likes of Austin Kemp Family Law Lawyers. After all, these people will have encountered similar situations to the one that you are going through and be ready to offer support.


These three things are just a few of the steps that you can take when you are telling bad news to kids. Often, you can’t change what is going on directly but you can alter your reaction to it so that you and your family are prepared to respond in a more positive manner.

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