It seems there is no end to discouraging headlines and distressing current events in our world today. From school shootings to natural disasters, the world can feel like a dangerous and confusing place to us as adults–so how on earth do we talk to our children about this stuff? And a more important question might be, SHOULD we talk to our children about this stuff, or should we just try to keep them shielded from the tough realities of our world for as long as possible?
To help us answer this question today, we have an expert guest who has worked with children for decades. Dr. Taryn Fletcher is a former school superintendent and the founder and CEO of Truly POC Inc. She helps people and organizations pivot from the safe and status quo to bold, intentional, and focused actions that prioritize equity and belonging.
Dr. Fletcher studied educational leadership and innovation at Wilmington University where she wrote her dissertation on culturally relevant teaching practices and teacher self-efficacy. She has close to 2 decades of experience coaching leaders, designing innovative school models, and transforming communities through education. She has 3 school-aged children- 16, 7, and 2, and is very active in her community- advocating for historically marginalized communities and volunteering at church with her husband.
- How you tackle a tough and timely topic depends on the age of the child. Children want to talk about the hard stuff, but they need our guidance in navigating the information that they’ve collected along the way (through friends, media, smartphones, dinner table conversations, etc).
- Check in on your kids’ mental health, first. Before jumping into a discussion about what your Gen Z child should or should NOT think, feel, or believe, check in on their mental health, first. Then ask questions to better understand their perspective before sharing your perspective.
- Enter into difficult conversations as a learner and listener. During holidays this year, don’t go tackle a tough topic without a plan or protocol. Talk about the hard stuff with family and friends and keep your relationships in tact. The goal of the talk circle is to build new perspectives. Not to debate, change minds or beliefs, but to learn from someone that might think differently than you.
>>Are these tips from Dr. Taryn Fletcher on tackling tough topics helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.
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-Mentioned in the Episode-
- Dr. Taryn Fletcher’s website: www.trulypocevolution.com
- Discussion Protocol: https://www.trulypocevolution.com/toughtopics
-Related Episodes like this one about How to Talk About Tough Topics-
- Episode 99: How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex
- Episode 100: How to Talk to Your Kids About Pornography
- Episode 101: Why & How to Talk to your Kids about Skin Tone and Race
- Episode 155: Talking about Suicide: Insights form a Daughter Left Behind
- Episode 181: How to Encourage Emotional Wellness in Kids
- Episode 238: Understanding and Supporting Transgender Teens