Many parents tend to be too careful when discussing more complex topics with their young children. They worry about giving them too much information or scaring them. But the truth is, kids are more capable than parents think and can handle much more than adults give them credit.
In fact, not talking to kids about these things can do more harm than good. By avoiding these topics, parents are not preparing them for the real world — a world where they will have to deal with money, the news, beauty standards, mental health, and more.
So how can parents broach these topics in an informative and age-appropriate way? Here are some approaches you can take:
As early as their preschool years, children are already exposed to the concept of money. Even if you don’t think they fully understand it, they’ve probably seen you use cash or cards to make purchases. You can start talking to them about money by explaining what it is and how people use it.
You can also introduce the idea of saving and spending. For instance, giving a child a piggy bank is a great way to help them understand both saving and spending money. Give them the chance to pick a toy they want and, instead of buying it right away, teach them to deposit a certain amount of money into their piggy bank each week. Once they’ve saved up enough, they can buy the toy themselves.
In today’s world, it’s impossible to shield children from the news. They’re going to see and hear things whether the adults in their life want them to or not. The best thing parents can do is to talk to them about what they’re seeing and hearing.
Help them understand that the news is just one perspective on events happening in the world. It’s important to get multiple perspectives on any given issue. You can do this by watching the news together and discussing it afterward.
You can also find age-appropriate news sources for them to read or watch. There are many websites and YouTube channels that cater to kids and discuss current events in a way that is appropriate for their age group. Being aware of what’s happening in the world around us should be a priority for everyone, and learning about it at an early age can help set the foundation for a lifetime of critical thinking.
Looks are essential for many reasons, not just for social validation but also for professional opportunities. It’s important to talk to kids about beauty standards, so they understand that there is more to attractiveness than meets the eye. At the same time, teach them how to deal with negative comments about their appearance.
Encourage them to find role models who embody different types of beauty. This will help them understand that there is no one standard of beauty and that everyone has unique features that make them beautiful. You should also talk to them about the dangers of comparing themselves to others. Help them understand that social media can be a breeding ground for unrealistic beauty standards and that comparing themselves to others will only make them feel bad about themselves.
On the other hand, it’s also wise to be realistic about their questions about appearances and the different ways people address their own looks. For example, cosmetic surgery is something many people undergo to achieve the look they want. Hair loss replacement systems are a solution for male pattern baldness. And make-up is simply a tool for people to enhance their looks, cover up blemishes, or express their creativity. These examples are valid ways of dealing with appearance-related issues, and your kids should know that multiple options are available.
Nowadays, more and more people are becoming aware of mental health issues. Talking to kids about mental health is important, so they can understand their feelings and emotions. It’s good for children to learn how to address their feelings instead of avoiding them or turning to a destructive attitude to cope.
One way to start the conversation is by teaching them about different emotions and how to deal with them. For example, they might be feeling sad because a friend moved away. In this case, it’s a good approach to encourage them to talk about their feelings and express themselves in a healthy way, such as writing in a journal or talking to someone they trust. Children should also be taught how to deal with anger by either walking away from the situation or talking to the person they’re upset with in a calm manner.
It’s important to talk to our kids about a variety of topics, including money, the news, beauty standards, mental health, and more. By having these conversations early on in life, adults can help them develop into well-rounded adults. It’s also important to be realistic with them about different aspects of life and provide them with accurate information, so they can make informed decisions.