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3 Tips on Having the “Hard” Talks with Your Kids

By Mormon.org
A father talks to his teenage son about tough subjects.

Let’s face it. Raising kids in today’s world is tough. When tough and touchy subjects arise, how should we respond?

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that “happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”). As these teachings of Jesus Christ form the moral foundation for what we believe is true and correct, we must use them as a backdrop to often discuss tough issues with our children.

Sometimes these conversations with kids can be uncomfortable. When our conversations must turn to the tough issues, here are three tips to keep in mind.

1. Start Early

Amazingly, toddlers now navigate the information superhighway, often putting their parents to shame with their knowledge of technology. But with this ability comes the increase of potential exposure to inappropriate content, merely at the click of a button.

Therefore, with sensitivity to maturity levels, begin these conversations simply when children are very young. Set boundaries, monitor activity, and answer questions through frequent conversations about Internet safety.

2. Talk Straight

As teenagers navigate those treacherous years of junior high and high school, many hunger for a voice of reason in a sea of confusion and differing viewpoints. As uncomfortable as they may seem on the surface, teenagers often desire to be given guidelines from a source they can trust. As parents continue to address sensitive issues on a regular basis and in matter-of-fact language, teenagers will become more comfortable and eventually open up about questions and concerns.

3. Teach with Love

When discussing tough issues with children, look to Jesus Christ’s example. Teach with love the “why” of the standards that have been set. As children begin to understand that commandments are given for our protection and happiness, they are more likely to participate in meaningful discussions about tough issues and look to parents’ counsel as a guiding light.

To learn more about how you can discuss tough subjects with your children, please chat with us or visit one of our Sunday services. You can find a location here.

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