Toolbox for Difficult Conversations

Families are often faced with news that makes us feel worried or uneasy; as caregivers, navigating these conversations with children can be difficult, especially as we struggle to make sense of things ourselves. Our latest blog entry offers a variety of resources to help guide tough conversations at home.

General Guidelines for tough conversations:
From PBS Parents “Talking With Children About News.


Tragic events in the news: Tragedy calls us to show our children that we can and do work together for goodness and peace in our world and that there is so much power in even the smallest acts of kindness and love.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers


Talking to Kids About Social Justice and Discrimination: Chicago Children’s Museum  | Excerpt: “Nobody’s perfect. We all have our own biases, and children hear what we say and take it all in.  Avoid speaking in generalizations about other people and question others when they do so.  If you do speak unfairly about a person or group, openly acknowledge the mistake.”

Youth writing on big questions:  Kidspirit Online   |  Excerpt: “We walk with it./Dignity./All the walls crumble to the ground/And we are not afraid.”

Talking to Kids About Injustice: Electricity Magazine  |  Excerpt: “The conventional wisdom is to let children lead: wait until they ask, and offer only the minimal information necessary.  … For many marginalized families, there is less choice.  As queers, we have had to talk to our children about our differences and vulnerabilities as a family.  Most straight parents have not had to discuss homophobia with their children, which means there are few allies for my children when slurs and heterosexist assumptions arise.” More HERE

Talking about safety in communities: Jacob Wetterling Foundation website is full of information, including tips on how to have age-appropriate conversations about appropriate touch, setting the tone for talking about scary news, and tips for personal safety in communities, including communities of faith. Please feel free to reach out with questions about our safety practices at WBUUC.

Looking for more resources? Let us know what you’d like us to add. Write to

Amy Peterson Derrick, Director of Religious Education
Jill Schwendeman, Director of Youth Programs







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