Essential topics for talks with children……

by Rod Smith

Thulani, Nathanael, Max, and me

Important conversations do not need to be “serious” conversations. Thulani and I talked about my death. I had the distinct impression that although it is a tough concept for him to embrace, he’s rather have had the conversation that not have had it. I told him that he’d bring me most honor and joy through going forward (from my death) to live his own life as powerfully and meaningfully as possible.

Here are the broad topics I believe to be essential

Grief and death

Handled gently, death and grief can become a part of any parent-child conversation. Talking about death and dying does not need to be scary or even sad – and talking about it does not cause it.

Sex and intimacy

Helpful conversations about sex and intimacy do not need to be a “big talk” but an ongoing dialogue. Let your child learn about the joys and beauty of sex from you, the parent, not from a school or “program.”

Space and boundaries

Teach your child where he or she begins and ends – what is and is not his or her responsibility. Teach him or her to responsible to others and not for others.

Money and debt

Showing children how investments grow can become a powerful incentive for a child to save. Pointing out the folly of the misuse of credit cards and how debt can radically accumulate is a lesson every child ought to learn.

Planning a great future

It’s a cliché, but if you aim at nothing it is likely you will get it every time. It is a gift to any child to teach him or her to plan a powerful future.

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