Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Let children reveal concerns

Radio Commentary

During stressful times, it’s important to make it easy and comfortable for children to express their concerns to you.
Often, if we ask a child, “Are you worried?” the answer is likely to be “No.”
But if you ask instead, “When you are concerned about this, what part worries you?” your child is more likely to open up.
This is a statement of assumption — you are letting your child hear that you assume there are concerns and you’d like to hear his or her thoughts about it. 
You could also distance your child all together from having to reveal personal concerns by asking what he or she thinks others are feeling right now. 
That seems to be a safe way for young people to express their worries without having to come out and say that these things bother them as well.
Parents can then suggest how “the others” might deal with those worries.
The important point is to get children talking so that you know what they are feeling and can reassure them properly, no matter the issue.