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It's not always easy to talk to your kids—but it's always important. Consider this: if we don't talk with them -- and answer their questions -- they'll get their facts from someone else. And we'll have missed an important parenting opportunity.
When responding to questions posed by your child, whether it’s a question about tough issues or a question about attending a sleep over or eating a cookie before dinner, clarity is name of game. If a child asks a question, very least we can do is answer it, and answer it precisely. The amount of uncertainty produced by "maybe" is very often catalyst for conflict.
Here are some essentials to assist you in becoming more accomplished in talking to your child:
- Always respond to your child - Strive to understand your own feelings regarding their request or question - Reply with a definite yes or no - Clarify your reasoning - Offer them methods and/or means to achieve their request - Be conscious of their reaction(s), anxiety usually precedes outburst
Remember: We all, young and not so young alike, find relief in knowing where we stand.
Dr. Charles Sophy currently serves as Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. He also has a private psychiatry practice in Beverly Hills, California.
Dr. Sophy is the author of the “Keep ‘Em Off My Couch” blog and provides real simple answers for solving life’s biggest problems. To contact Dr. Sophy, visit his blog at http://drsophy.com.