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- Be open, honest and available.
- Use words that are understandable and comfortable. Leave the technical jargon to the experts.
- Encourage your child to talk and ask questions. Listen to the answers.
- If your child asks a question, answer immediately, even if the timing isn’t perfect. You can always expand on the topic at a more opportune time.
- Try to determine what your child is really asking. Are they worried about being “normal”? Is there a moral, religious or cultural conflict? Does your child want to check their knowledge against yours? Listening–really listening–is the key to good communication.
- Maintain a calm, non-judgmental attitude. A sense of humor can relieve tension and facilitate discussion. It’s okay to talk about your own discomfort and make light of it.
- Don’t laugh at your child’s questions. No matter what, don’t laugh.
- If you don’t have a ready answer, admit it. Offer to find the answer with your child or on your own.
- Above all, remind your child that you love and respect them and will always be there for them.