Tips on breaking bad news to your kids

It's something that none of us ever want tto do but sometimes it's unavoidable

No parent wants to give their children bad news but sometimes it is unavoidable and there is only so much covering up you can do.
There are a few things you can do to make it easier for your child and here are some of the tips we have accumulated over our parenting years. 
  • Pick a good time and have support if possible- Obviously telling your child bad news in the morning before school is not advisable. Your child will need time to process the information and may want to be alone afterwards or want to ask questions. The time thought to be best is around dinner time or just after, giving you enough time to discuss it and cuddle up if you both need to. It is vital you have someone else there to support not only you but your child too. Ask your partner or another family member, it may be a difficult time but people will be happy to help you now. 
  • Have the full story and the facts/details- Your child deserves to know the facts and the details of the bad news. If your child lost someone they love you should tell them what happened, it may be upsetting but your nipper deserves the truth. Offer comfort to your kiddie and listen to them as they let their emotions out.      
  • Use age appropriate terms- Don’t use big words that your child will be unable to understand and then will keep interrupting you with more questions. Be basic with your words and if someone was ill and died explain their illness simply, sure use the name of the illness but don’t over complicate things either. 
  • Avoid lying to downplay the bad news- The fact of the matter is the bad news isn’t going to go away and lying to make it seem better is not the way to go. Either way your child will be affected by this and you will all have to work together to manage your feelings now. 
  • Allow time to grieve- Your kid may need loads of time to cry or they may get angry. Your child may decide to retreat to their room and you should let them have the time to grieve or cope in whatever way they can. 
  • Comfort one another- Be there for each other and let others be supportive to you and your child. Cuddle up for the evening and cry together if you want to, be of comfort to one another. 
  • Answer questions and feel open to re-visiting the subject- Your child will inevitably want to go through the news again and again as they struggle to get their heads around it. This may frustrate you but it is important that your kid feels they can ask you about it and that you are open to answering questions. It may become repetitive but eventually the questions will lessen.  
  • Distract yourselves in the days ahead- To get away from the news that has upset you or your child you must distract yourselves and keep busy. It may not seem possible as you are upset but going out for a walk or a trip to a pet farm will allow you to get away from it all. 
It will take time but things will get easier. 
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