Certainly, we knew there’d come the time for the “big talk,” but who knew we’d be struggling with how to talk to our children about drugs and AIDS and gay relationships, guns and violence at school, and kids who kill other kids.
Our world has grown more complex and the media, including the Internet, has swung wide the doors to information and misinformation. Talking with our children about difficult and often disturbing issues has never been more critical.
Following are some tips that may help:
- It’s never too soon to start. Kids are hearing about issues at an earlier age.
- Don’t wait for them to ask. Just because they haven’t asked about something doesn’t mean they don’t want or need information.
- Tackle subjects even if you’re uncomfortable. Set aside your own feelings and initiate dialogue.
- Be open and encouraging. Create an environment in which any question can be asked at any time.
- Be clear about your values. Children want and need moral guidelines from their parents.
- Don’t just talk, listen. You’ll get information about how to approach an issue while building your child’s self-esteem.
- Be straightforward and honest. You don’t have to give all the details, but you do need to be honest.
- Take time, be patient. Unlike lunch, digesting new information can take time.
- Don’t wait for the “right time.” Be ready when opportunities arise. Daily life presents many openings for even a short dialogue.
- Keep talking. Information given in small doses over a period of time is the best way to have that “big talk.”
Sometimes parents struggle to find ways to talk to their children despite even the best advice available. Fortunately, I can assist in making those talks easier and more comfortable. I encourage parents to contact me so that we can discuss the best therapeutic approach possible. It is also possible to reach out to me online for added convenience.
“Our family came to Monica with a troubled teen. In 7th grade she changed from a happy, communicative child engaged in our family, to one that was depressed, and unable/unwilling to have anything to do with anyone. She spent all of her time on the computer, instant messaging her friends. She was not interested in counseling but Monica was very good at engaging her in conversation and helping her through this period of time. She is a stronger person now, and better able to handle the stresses that come her way. We are grateful to Monica for bringing our daughter back to us. KK”
Monica Ramunda is a solution-focused online therapist with two office locations in Louisville and Capital Hill, Denver for in-office visits. With a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and more than 16 years of experience in therapy and counseling, Monica works as both a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT) with adults and children respectively. Much of Monica’s success is based on her eclectic orientation and drawing on a wide range of different approaches and techniques, all the while remaining strongly grounded in the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Techniques (CBT).