Keep those lines of communication with your kids open- even when it's tough!
Lisa here. Last week, Sarah introduced our new mini-series where we give tips for talking to your kids about sensitive topics. One of the subjects that often comes up for parents is how to talk to their kids about their medical, psychological, or learning disorder diagnosis. Most parents feel a mix of emotions upon learning their child’s diagnosis – relief at finally getting answers, worry about treatment and prognosis, hopes and fears about the future, etc. In the mix with all these emotions are thoughts about how to explain things to their child. What to tell them, how much to explain, when to tell them, or even whether they should tell them anything at all are decisions parents have to make at the time of diagnosis.
I have worked with many parents who have struggled with what to tell their kids about their diagnosis. This comes up frequently when I evaluate a child for ADHD or for a learning disorder. Some parents’ initial instinct is to tell their child nothing. Other parents want to tell their child something but have no idea what to say.
Here are some general tips I give to the parents who want to say nothing:
Once parents are ready to talk with their kids about their diagnosis, here’s what I tell them:
Feel free to peruse our blog and see what Sarah and Lisa had to say about topics related to your needs as a busy parent. We will talk about everything from parenting values, to life hacks, to realistic self-care.