10 Awkward Things to Tell Your Kids

Wouldn’t it be nice if parents never had to have awkward conversations with their kids? The truth is, having children means having those uncomfortable discussions at some point. Kids ask all sorts of questions and some of those questions come unexpectedly and catch parents off guard. At those times the burning question for parents becomes do we tell the truth or do we lie?

Consider these 10 awkward things you may have to discuss with your kids.

  1. The truth about Santa – Slowly, Santa is losing ground as more and more parents choose not to participate in the myth. But for those who continue the tradition, sooner or later you will need to tell the truth, and for some kids it may be devastating. On the other hand, some kids just outgrow the myth; they let go on their own and they are fine with learning the truth.
  2. There is no Tooth Fairy – In this economy the Tooth Fairy is probably having a hard time surviving. In many homes, the truth about one mythical character begins a domino effect, and questions get asked about the others. The child could end up feeling very betrayed unless the situation is handled with care. Yep, that means the Easter Bunny too!
  3. When a pet dies – The death of a pet can be upsetting to a kid, and sometimes parents may not be aware of the deep affection that was held for that pet. When a beloved dog or cat dies, many times there are displays of deep emotion on everyone’s part. But when it is a fish or a turtle or some other seemingly personality deficient pet, often the burial grounds are in the bathroom and parents may not be in tune with their child’s fondness for the pet. Even at these times, for the sensitive child, a ceremony of closure would be in order.
  4. Getting caught “in the act” – Parents usually lock their doors or have strict rules on proper etiquette regarding the master bedroom when the door is closed. Sometimes kids just barge in anyway and this can be embarrassing. Other times kids quietly sneak in and it can be worse than embarrassing. You must then decide how much they need to know or if they need to know anything about Mommy’s and Daddy’s “activities”.
  5. When your daughter gets her first period – This is most likely more awkward for fathers who have to handle the situation than mothers. When your daughter reaches a certain age, menstruation is just a matter of time. Getting yourself prepared ahead of time for this talk can help ease the awkwardness. Preparing your daughter ahead of time is also crucial to help her avoid unexpected embarrassment. Some single fathers may want to enlist the help of a trusted female family member if it’s just too far out of their comfort zone.
  6. Admitting to a mistake – Every now and then a parent will make a big, embarrassing, ego swallowing mistake. Some kids love these moments because an apology is due and getting an apology from your parent can be like getting a sack of gold. Some parents may feel that they should never admit to making mistakes and that in itself is a big mistake. We all learn from our errors if we are wise, and a parent shows true integrity when confessing and righting a wrong. Don’t let the opportunity to lead by example slip by.
  7. “Why am I bigger in the morning?” – Mothers may feel a little awkward answering this question of their sons. Though there is nothing to be embarrassed about, parents often feel awkward telling their kids about private part matters. There is plenty of literature on these subjects to help parents feel comfortable in offering answers to their kids. A word from Dad or a trusted male family member can be preferred if Mom is really uncomfortable with the explanation.
  8. All about the bird and the bees – Parents all over dread the inevitable talk about changing bodies, raging hormones and intimate relationships. One thing parents need to realize is that as awkward as it can be, it’s much better to have the talk with your kids and tell them the facts then to have them learn about things from their friends or in the impersonal setting of a classroom.
  9. You are getting divorced – Getting divorced is a major stressor in everyone’s life, and when it comes to breaking the news to the kids, it can be overwhelming. Younger kids may not understand what’s happening, but older kids will most likely take the news very hard. Come up with a plan before you sit down with the kids. Take into account their ages and how this news will impact their lives. Try to have some of the details worked out, so when the questions come, you will be prepared.
  10. You are moving – Generally this isn’t an awkward thing to tell your kids, unless the move happens to come in the last year of high school or some other very inopportune time. When kids have established themselves in their school structure, and finally made it this far with all the activities, dances and pomp and circumstance that attend that final year, leaving it all behind can seem like the end of the world. For kids in that situation it virtually is the end of the world as they know it. Depending on the circumstances, some families have allowed their senior to stay with friends or other family until school is out.

These are only a few of the awkward talks that can arise for parents. There are many more and one of the best ways of dealing with awkward conversations is to be proactive and come up with a plan before the conversation starts, whenever possible.

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