How to Break Bad News to your Children

Breaking bad news to anyone can be difficult and it can be even worse for children.  Whether it is a divorce, death or illness in the family or Dad losing his job, projecting the right choice of words to make the child understand is essential in such a delicate situation.

When sitting down and having the discussion with the child, as a parent it is important to act appropriately and be prepared for what you have to say.  This will help them with their communication skills later in life.

If parents have decided to separate, the topic already presents itself to be sensitive.  Be prepared of what reactions to expect and know how to deal with them.  Expressing your love for your child comes first and telling them that there will be stability as before, just slightly differently.  The reassurance needs to be there to make the child feel safe.  Keeping them informed at all times helps as they will want to know everything.


If Dad has lost his job, keeping the children informed is a must as changes take place almost instantly.  Dad will be feeling low and  he will need the support from the family. At the same time, children need to be taught about the importance of money and how things in their life will be a bit tight.   This will  help them.


The death of a parent is not only hard for the children, but also on remaining parent.  If it has been an illness that has been known about for months there is time to explain to the child the illness and its affects.  However, it is still difficult for the child to see the parent suffering.  If the death was sudden, give your child all the love and support they need and answer any questions they have.  They will be feeling very confused and it’s up to you to protect them.

In any situation it can be trying, butcommunicating and expressing your feelings helps your child to understand.


For more information visit:

We have a Parents for Life course which raises the awareness on the importance of positive parenting and strategies on how to enhance your relationship with your child through key life stages.

We have an Increasing Wellbeing and Inclusion in Early Years Settings course.

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