Life sure has a way of throwing things at you, doesn’t it?
When you least expect it, something happens that you can’t properly explain to your little ones. A death in the family. Pregnancy. Divorce. Deployment. War. Male and female anatomy. Racism. Depression. Cancer. Financial Strain. Drugs and Alcohol. Sex. Incarceration. We don’t really want to expose our kids to too much while they are not old enough to understand, rational thinking skills are required to be able to process dramatic events. I have gone through a couple of these with my 6 year old, it was difficult to explain just how a baby got into mommy’s tummy!
There are so many different things that happen in life, there’s no one way to explain them. While I can’t really tell you HOW to tell your kids about a hard to digest situation, I can help with a few guidelines to get the right words to come out.
3 Ways to Explain Difficult Life Moments to Kids
TRUTH – Whatever is going on, our kids deserve to know the truth. This doesn’t necessarily mean every single bloody detail of war, the intercourse that took place to get you pregnant, or the amount of times you’ve been cheated on to cause the divorce. It simply means the cut and dry facts of the issue. Keep it basic to avoid confusion.
TIMING – While telling the truth, be sure to use our words appropriately and at the right time. You cannot talk to a 5 year old the same way you would talk to an 11 year old. Base your responses off of what they know, using real life examples that they can resonate with.
TAILOR – Listen to their questions. Assess their responses. You can even ask them questions about their feelings to see where they are at with the whole ordeal. Some kids are more sensitive than others. One child may be happy with a basic interpretation, while another may feel different and continue to probe in search of reassurance. Be as real as possible, and remind them that they are loved and everything will pass.
We all know that there are family moments that require a hard to digest explanation. Luckily, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies are actually the opposite. Made of simple, wholesome ingredients, Rice Krispies cereals are easy on the tummy, making them easy to digest for little ones. Kellogg’s seems to know that the last thing that should be an issue for children is the quality of their food. I adore their latest ad spots, they feature “hard to digest” moments that parents encounter with young children.
You live and you learn. We’ll definitely have to explain these situations to our kids one day, but not now. Not while they’re 6 and under. Please? It can wait. But when it comes up, we’ll be ready.
How do you explain “hard to digest” moments to your kids?
Disclosure: Myself and other bloggers are partnering with Kellogg’s for the Champions of Great Starts program for 2013. Although compensated, all opinions expressed are my own.