Disclosure: I partnered with Valvoline Instant Oil Change for this project, however opinions discussed in this post are 100% my own.
Trigger Warning: Child Death is discussed in this post.
As parents, we want to protect our kids from everything. It’s literally one of our top priorities in parenting. As much as possible, keep our children safe from all harm, physical and emotional. As much as we truly wish that we could keep our kids in a bubble from all harm and hurt, the reality is that we can’t. There are constantly going to be situations that we simply can’t protect them from feeling harm or hurt, especially as they get older and are on their own more and more.
As much as I’ve tried to protect our girls, I knew that eventually something would happen that would cause them hurt and we would have to face it head on in the moment. A few weeks ago for us, that time came. I had to have a dreaded conversation with my girls. Someone close to them had died. In the back of my mind, this conversation would happen when a grandparent passed or something. I could explain about age and what happens as we get older. It never occurred to me how to explain a child passing. Not only that, but a very close friend.
It took a few days.
I literally didn’t have the words. How did I explain to them something I couldn’t even wrap my head around in the moment. It was a traumatic moment for me and I didn’t want them to experience that same feelings. But then I realized, that this isn’t something I should be sheltering them from. They needed to learn and I had to figure out how to teach them something that was even hard for me. It took me a few days to figure out what to even say to them.
3 Tips For Talking To Young Kids About Hard Topics
- Be Honest
- Don’t try to sugar coat the topic. Be truthful at an age appropriate level and explain the topic that you are discussing.
- What I realize the most about dealing with this is that once again kids prove how resilient they are and they will comprehend more than you think
- Support their emotions
- Sometimes they may not show immediate reactions; however, a few hours or days later they may suddenly have really big emotions. Expect that these emotions may happen and be ready to comfort and help them through.
- Realize that you may have to explain it a few times
- Whether a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks from the time you initially tell them, there are going to me more questions and more confusion as they learn how to process. Understand that you may have to discuss what happened a few more times as they deal with the situation.
What I learned most about our situation was that I needed to be having more open and truthful conversations with our girls about hard topics, so that when something presented itself that we needed to talk about, I was completely thrown for a loop in how to discuss it.
We can always look for moments to teach, even our very young kids, about tough subjects.
We recently got AutoTex wipers for our car and our big girl asked what the pink ribbons were on them for. I used this as a teaching moment and to talk about health conditions and how we can work to support our friends that may be going through difficult times or how we can support people that we don’t even know about by making sure that our purchases help to support people. I know that she’s young, but by beginning to have these tough discussions now on a very basic level can really help to open her mind as she grows up.
Valvoline Instant Oil Change is selling AutoTex Wipers throughout October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Proceeds go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). Consumers have the option to pick from full Pink Wipers (like shown above) or Black Wipes with small pink ribbons. Locate where you can find a participating VIOC location.
Once you purchase these wipes, even the Pink My Ride Photo Contest for a chance to win free oil changes for a year! VIOC is a full service 15-minute drive thru oil change. No appointments are needed and there’s no need to get out of the car (WIN for when the kids are in the car!). Grab this coupon for a discount off your oil change when you go pick up your wipers!