How to discuss same-sex relationships and other complex topics with your kids.

November 29, 2016 Published by

 

Valentine’s Day is about sharing love with others. Thankfully, today this can mean as many different things as we want it to.

Understanding and support of the LGBTQ+ community is growing which is a great thing as it means we are part of an increasingly accepting and inclusive society. 

As children are naturally inquisitive, they may come to you with questions about such topics.

The question may be based on a scenario your child has encountered at school or something that they have seen on TV shows or a news report. This can be a good jumping-off point to start a discussion with your little one. 

The dilemma you may face is being presented with questions you aren’t sure your child is ready for, or that you don’t know the answer to.

So how can parents approach complex topics like this with their children? 

 

This is just one example of a discussion your family might have, but regardless of the topic, it’s good to know how to deal with the situation when questions come up. Talking about another current but complex topic – Brexit, Dr Amanda Gummer said:

“If they are interested enough to ask questions, children deserve our time and our best attempt at answering them, but do it slowly and don’t give too much information at one time.”   

A good rule of thumb is to let your child lead the conversation and avoid overburdening them with adult concerns. 

Let them ask the questions they have, then give them time to digest what you have responded with. They can always come back with more questions later.

 

 

It’s also important to give age-appropriate answers, but what exactly does this mean?

Pre-schoolers generally will have only a passing curiosity, so we suggest focusing on reassurance and specific worries they have. 

As children get older, the playground is a hotbed for rumours and misunderstandings as children try and sound more grown-up than they are to their friends. 

Encourage your child to ask you about anything they’re confused by and not to accept everything their friends say as truth. As a parent, you’re the one who knows them the best – so the judgement is for you to make. 

 

Summary

Children are naturally curious and so you should expect that they will have questions about the world around them. 

Although sometimes this may feel awkward, it is important that you do your best to answer their queries. It is also totally fine if you don’t have the answers!

There are plenty of resources that can help you to explain tricky topics such as:

LGBT education 

Current affairs 

Brexit 

 

Updated February 2020


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This post was written by Anna Taylor

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