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EpisodesGuest InterviewSeason 3

Navigating Difficult Conversations with Children

Episode 28 | July 4, 2023

Navigating Difficult Conversations with Children

Beverly Soggs talks about having and approaching difficult conversations with our children.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No”the podcast about learning to say no and set boundaries to live our best lives. 

Follow along with me as we learn from fellow strugglers and experts, so that you too can start saying no without feeling fear, guilt, or FOMO. 



Beverly Soggs, MA, CCLS, Certified Child Life Specialist at University Hospitals and Grief Educator with over 15 years of experience supporting children and families joins us to discuss how to have difficult conversations with children.

Key Takeaways

How to Introduce a Tough Subject

  • What to Consider
    • You know your child best, trust your instincts on what they can handle when it comes to difficult conversations
    • Remember that you can give bite sized, digestible pieces of information to children, rather than sharing everything at once
    • Developmentally appropriate – they don’t have the knowledge base or experience of an adult
    • Trust the child and be honest
    • Give the option to write things down
    • Ask questions; Do you understand this? Have you heard about this?

Recognizing Your Own Feelings

  • Managing your own feelings during difficult conversations is extremely important.
    • What is your anxiety level?
    • Are you projecting your feelings on to them?
    • Try to remain as clear headed and calm as possible
    • It’s ok to take breaks for you


  • Sometimes saying things out loud prior to sharing with a child can help. It may surprise us with how it even feels to say some of the difficult things and it’s good to get the first shock out of the way to make room for a more peaceful conversation with children.
    • Look for resources who can help you to prepare for these tough conversations – find the experts
    • Feel free to talk to family/friends as well – they may offer feedback to support the conversation or even ask questions you weren’t otherwise prepared to answer

Be Ready for Their Reaction

  • Any reaction is acceptable – but often times you will be surprised by the lack of response
    • Children like to go back to playing and sometimes can’t accurately measure the validity of something serious
      • Prioritize meeting with team members and having personal, human conversations.


  • Allow children to respond in the way they want and need to, whether this is venting, crying, playing, but always remember to leave room for response
  • Be a sounding board, we don’t always need to give advice or solutions
  • There’s wisdom in waiting

And when you just listen, and you’re there if they need more than that, but you’re not pushing that, it shows your trust in them. ‘I trust you to be able to handle this’ and that says a lot.

Where to Find Beverly
Read Full Transcript Here
Credits and Thanks
  • Many thanks to our friends and families (our “villagers”) for listening, and for your continued support.
  • That’s a Hard No is a production of Clever Girl Marketing
  • Marketing and Production Coordinator, Maura Del Rosario
  • Production Support, Evergreen Podcasts, Noah Foutz, Producer
  • New Rock Anthem Music: Written by Noah, and performed by his band, The Big Leagues
  • Videographer & Photographer, Jake Donnelly