Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Talking to Kids About the Tough Stuff


Reading Time: 1 minutes

So this is a request for resources or stories please. 

What are your recommendations for talking to kids (mine is 5.5 so around that age) about tough stuff like

  1. God (religion flexible – I just want ideas, I won’t follow anything) 
  2. Death 
  3. Sex, babies, etc.
  4. Other tough stuff she hasn’t asked me about but that I  will panic about soon

I know my own mom didn’t have a guide book and did a pretty good job when I was older, but I can’t remember what she did when I was younger… I don’t think I asked. I do remember my male cousin convincing me that women got pregnant w baby girls and men got pregnant w baby boys. And I believed him for a bit. That was fun!?!?

Anyway – so your stories, resources, books for kids, books for parents…

Thanks in advance


  1. Goodness knows, Maha – BUT – this week’s Saturday Guardian, Family section, had a wonderful story of the Cardboard box mother. A father was worried that his six year old daughter was not processing the death of her mother, his wife… After a few weeks when playing with some cardboard boxes, she asked that they build a mother out of them and they did. She talked with and carried around this mother… He worried some more. Eventually she took this mother to school for ‘show and tell’ and she spoke to her class of her sadness – of how she chose the dress that her mother was buried in – and chose a song for the funeral…
    I don’t know – but your request coming so soon after reading that – I feel a connection somehow!

  2. Hi Maha, Leslie recommends “Children: the Challenge” by Rudolf Dreikurs, Vicki Stolz. This is mostly a basic behavioral guide with the best tantrum advice: “Keep your wind out of their sails.” Last edition was 1999 but still available.

    Also Brain Pickings for children’s books. The Best Children’s Books of 2016 – Brain Pickings
    Cry, Heart, but Never Break by Glenn Ringtved. About death and grief and living.

    This is billed as an adult book on love but the short paragraphs and poems are adaptable to developing young people.
    “Things I would Like to Do with You” by Waylon H. Lewis.
    “We do not either of us know who our best friend in this world will be…yet: it is me and it is you.” p 186

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