top of page

Emily Oster from ParentData re: talking to kids about hard things

These past few days have been especially heavy. I have had a very hard time concentrating on just about anything, which really isn't an option when you are a parent or a spouse or a business owner. And, whether my kids have asked about it or not, I know they can see that I'm distracted. I've been trying to figure out just how to talk to them about why I've been staring at updates from the New York Times all day, or why I've been putting the news on in the evening (something I really never do)... Then this morning, as if she was reading my mind, an email from Emily Oster drops into my inbox filled with answers, thoughts, and feelings of solidarity. If you aren't already signed up for Emily's newsletters and emails, get on it now! From COVID to how to get your kids to eat more veggies, to the topic at hand, Emily has gathered mountains of data and information to offer up the most statistically sound suggestions for just about any kid/parent-related issue you are having.

Back to trying to talk to your kids about the mad, mad world.

Emily has pulled together resources from a few different experts and has laid them out in 5 stapes. Below is the beginning of her newsletter, the 5 steps, and a link to the remaining article. I hope this helps to lighten the burden all of us are feeling while we raise kids during these very difficult times.

"The world feels heavy. I had intended to post on skin care in pregnancy today (which I will, later this week), but all that has been on my mind is the news out of Ukraine. Like many of us, I’m struggling to process it myself. And on top of that, I’m trying to work out how to talk to my kids about it, if at all. I know I’m not alone in this; Melinda Wenner Moyer had an excellent post on it in the New York Times this week.

This has echoes of other hard conversations we have with our children. Conversations about current events, or about more personal challenges — ill family members, job losses, financial problems. Part of what makes all of these conversations difficult is that we often don’t want to think more about these things. The desire to look away can be strong, even if we know it is perhaps not a noble one, and conversations with our children make that looking away impossible. But the conversations are also hard because we do not know how to approach them. So, in case it is useful, I thought I’d talk about how I’ve come to think about this challenge. " ... - Emily Oster, ParentData 2022

An approach, in 5 steps

  1. Do we need to talk about this now?

  2. Pick your moment

  3. Start simple and scripted (and age-appropriate)

  4. Don’t expect any specific reaction

  5. Prepare for more

Entire Article:


bottom of page