ON A KINDER NOTE with Dolly's Dream | The tricky talks parents have to have

The tricky talks parents have to have

Many parents feel uncomfortable talking about sensitive topics like bullying, 'sexting' and porn, but there are ways to make the awkward conversations easier.

  • Have some key messages worked out in advance.
  • Find somewhere to talk without being interrupted, preferably while doing something nice, like walking the dog, kicky a footy, or playing a video game together.
  • Ask questions like 'Is cyber bullying a problem at your school?', 'Do kids at your school talk about watching porn?' and 'Have you ever been contacted online by someone you hadn't met?'
  • Try hypotheticals such as 'What advice would you give someone who was asked to send a nude and didn't want to?'
  • Summarise what your teen has just told you, to check you've understood and show you're listening.
  • Remind your teens that it's smart to ask for help when we need it, and that you would want them to tell you if something went wrong.
  • Be clear that whatever the problem is, you'll find a way to deal with it.
  • Involve a support person if necessary, like a trusted relative, a psychologist, or a service like Parentline.

Learn more about tricky conversations from Parent Hub, Raising Children, and Kids Helpline.

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