Breaking Bad News

Breaking Bad News to Children

Breaking bad news is never easy and sadly it was something that I had to do quite recently. However, I never really planned or thought how to do it. That’s not a brilliant idea to say the least. So I thought that it might be a good idea to write down a couple of things that might help.

Plan

As awful as it sounds, plan what you’re going to say. It will take the emotion out of your voice and make sure you give a clear message that your little one can understand

Get down to their level

It is best to meet them eye to eye so they are not daunted and you are in a brilliant position for the instant cuddle that they will need

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Don’t rush

The tears may only last a minute, they may last a day. Crying is so important to let the child let their emotions out and it is important to encourage them to cry

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Happy distraction

If you know the news will be taken badly by your little one, no amount of hugs or anything will make things better. However, a little something just to take their mind off things will help. Usually half an hour after the news breaking is a time to assess the situation and they might welcome a little break. However, don’t force it.

Talk afterwards

Emotions will be running wild at the time and things won’t sink in properly. However, it is always useful to ask the child if they want to know anything about the situation when the emotions have settled down a little.

Hopefully you’ll never need to be breaking bad news, but if you do, I hope it helps. If you have any other hints or tips, please put them in the comment section below.


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