Episode #8: Judy Blume & Tough Talks

 

I was recently watching the documentary “Judy Blume Forever” (a must-watch if you’re a Superfudge super fan like me!) and I realized why I’ve always been drawn to Judy’s novels. What sets her apart from other authors for kids? 

She isn’t afraid to talk about hard things.

From bullies to parents divorcing to puberty, she never shies away from addressing the tough stuff. As parents, we need to follow her lead.

There are lots of scary things in the world. Kids already know this. When we don’t talk to them about the tough stuff, it actually makes them more anxious.

It makes them feel like things are so bad that the grownups can’t even talk about it. How terrifying for a small person to know that something big is happening but not be given words to understand it.

Remember, in the words of Fred Rogers,

If it’s mentionable, it’s manageable.

I’ll often have families come to me when they’re facing a separation or an illness or other big life change and they’ll say “the kids don’t know anything yet.” And I’ll respond, “Yes they do. The don’t know details, but they sense that something is different and the longer you wait to speak to them the more stories they’ll create for themselves about what they feel but don’t know yet.”

So let’s take a page from Judy (couldn’t resist the pun!) and not be afraid to tackle the hard topics. On today’s episode of “Good Enough Parenting,” I guide you through how to have a conversation with your child about something that feels scary. Whether it’s a global tragedy or a personal loss, follow these steps:

 

*Calm yourself first

*Find out what they already know

*Provide accurate information, but don’t give endless details

*Restore their sense of safety

*Remind them – they can play!! They don’t have to stop being a kid just because something scary happened

 

To find out how I guided my kids through a tricky conversation after a traumatic event, listen NOW.