Written by Doctor G

Telling Kids About a Family Problem

How can I tell my child…

I’ve been asked often about explaining tragedies to kids. But sometimes we have to tell our children something hard that isn’t on the news, something that only matters to our own family.

Divorce, abandonment, death, deployment, unemployment…

There are, sadly, tons of hard things we may have to explain to our kids about what’s happening in our family. When these issues come up, parents often think: “I just won’t tell them.” We imagine that we’re keeping these secrets to protect our kids from fear or worry.

Unfortunately, that’s a lie. 

We can’t protect our kids from fear or worry – they pick up on ours. Worse, they imagine all kinds of terrible problems and blame themselves. We hide the truth from kids because of our own fear and worry, but also from guilt. 

Don’t waste time feeling guilty.

Instead give your kids the information they need and the lesson you want them to remember.

telling kids about a family problem


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1 thought on “Telling Kids About a Family Problem”

  1. Your answer about talking about a family problem is spot on correct. My real father was not a good man and had been unkind to my mother and brother. My brother, my mother and I lived with my grandparents for that time in a very supportive environment. We had little money. When things were difficult, I remember my mother acknowledging many times that it was difficult. She would give me a good hug and say, “…but I love you and your brother very much and we are together and nothing is better than that!” My mother eventually remarried and she and my new dad were the best family I could imagine. I was very lucky to have such a smart mother.

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