Ideas for opening conversations at home from RSE day 2020
Tips From Childline on having difficult conversations with children
Whether you’re talking to a group or an individual, there are some general principles that will help you discuss sensitive subjects with children and young people.
Help them feel comfortable
Acknowledge that the topic isn’t easy to talk about but explain why it’s important to talk about it.
Show you’re listening
Encourage children to talk openly and make it clear that you value their opinions. You could set ground rules, such as not interrupting and respecting other people’s points of view.
Give them time
Allow children to set their own pace - don’t push them to say more than they want to. They may need time to process certain topics – so make sure they know they can come back to you another time if they need to.
Avoid displaying strong emotions such as shock or embarrassment in response to something a child or young person says. This might discourage them from sharing their experiences with you.
Be open and honest
Encourage them to ask questions. Answer them as honestly as possible, whilst taking into consideration their age and emotional maturity.
Get your facts straight
If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so – don’t provide young people with information that’s incorrect. You could look for the answer together, recommend where they can find information or research and share what you have found next time you meet.
If you’re talking about something like coronavirus where the situation may change quickly, explain this and let children know how to stay updated as things progress.
Use the right language
Make sure children understand the terminology associated with the topic and that it is age-appropriate. Avoid using euphemisms. Look at the language used on resources developed by and for children such as the Childline website.
Be clear about confidentiality
It’s important that children feel able to share their experiences with you. But if you have any concerns about their wellbeing you must make a report. Never promise to keep things a secret and explain that you have a responsibility to tell people who can help.
Childline also have some online games and activities for under 12s
A presentation of key information regarding the new statutory curriculum for RSE
A guide for parents about statutory and non statutory curriculum and right to withdraw.
Newly revised in light of changes to statutory and non statutory curriculum.
A shortened version of the full RSE policy containing key points
A summary of key points taken from survey results