A connected conversation: How to talk to kids about the world

Last week in our local community a man was shot and killed by police right near my boys primary school. By the time I picked them up from after school care they were a mix of worry and questions. I knew we needed to talk about what had happened, not a topic I had pre-picked for Thursday night dinner chat over Chargrill Charlies. I wasn't sure exactly what they needed to know, and was still processing the event myself. 

When events happen both in Australia, and globally it is understandable when parents feel confused about how to talk with our children about them. One instinct is to shield them from it. You know; allow kids to be kids!

This is understandable. After all, from the minute we were handed our first baby we were told when it cries it’s our job to work out what’s wrong and fix it. To stop the sad!

Here’s why I think we should resist that instinct.

Simply put, the world, the media, the internet, even the playground – are too...

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All is not lost; the upside to siblings meeting for the first time at home.

If you are expecting another baby, I’m sure you would have imagined introducing your newborn to your other children in the hospital. Perhaps you thought of your toddler cuddling your newborn in your hospital bed with dad operating the camera, ready to capture the perfect moment for eternity, or anticipated them peeping into the clear hospital bassinet with a big grin.

Current visitor restrictions in many hospitals in Sydney right now impact the way older siblings meet a new baby for the first time. So many parents I work with can be really sad and worried about this, and this grief is valid.  However, there are some benefits to making this introduction at home.

I certainly anticipated the perfect introduction of a new sibling when I had each of my four boys, but the reality was not nearly as idyllic.

Despite my high hopes, this is what really happened. While I lay with my new baby in the ward, I could hear my toddlers the minute they got out of the...

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