How to Have Explicit Conversations with Your Kids

Most of us try to avoid uncomfortable conversations and confrontation as much as possible. However, having difficult conversations is necessary for sustainable and healthy relationships, especially with our children.

In this episode, Cristie shares the top 5 steps to successfully have an explicit conversation with your child. She gives tips on how to navigate bringing up difficult topics, setting your intent, and understanding the impact of your words. Join Cristie in this episode for strategies to lead difficult conversations.

Show Highlights: 

  • Cristie explains why she changed the podcast title
  • The importance of having purpose behind your conversation
  • Conversations Cristie’s mom had with her that positively impacted her
  • How to let your kids lead the conversation even if you start it
  • Why you should have uncomfortable conversations in comfortable settings
  • Ways you can get more out of the conversation by listening
  • How to create an authentic communicating atmosphere
  • Why uncomfortable conversation is necessary for sustainable relationships

Five Steps to Explicit Conversations

  1. Know your intent. What do you want from the conversation and how can you say it in a way that preserves the relationship and the child’s self-esteem. 
  2. You begin*, they lead. Let them guide the questions and conversations in the direction they feel best. *
  3. Conversations don’t have to be formal or prepared. They may happen at bedtime, in cars on basketball courts or walks in the woods. No one  will be totally comfortable, you may not have time for them,  but let them happen when they come. 
  4. Listen more than talk. You may have an overall goal, but it should be to help kids trust and understand, not to say a specific thing. Listen to them and respond accordingly. No prepared scripts necessary. 
  5. Get good with silence. It’s in the silence where the growth and processing happen. Don’t be too quick to talk over the quiet. They’ll speak when ready. 

*If you don’t start the conversation, take a minute to tune in to what you want out of it anyway. Do you want it to go fast to get back to your television show, or do you want to communicate to your child that you will be there to listen no matter what?


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