Before You Begin

Listen, we know this can be awkward, intimidating, and/or scary, but don’t worry—we’re here to equip you for this. Let’s start by reviewing a few tips to help you prepare and build confidence before the conversation even starts.

Before you get to talking, stop everything and take a deep breath. Seriously. Do this with us for a moment. Close your eyes, and be aware of your heartbeat. Breathe in…and breathe out… Doesn’t that feel a little better already? That’s because research shows that deep breathing is actually calming for the brain. Cool, right? If you start to get nervous or stressed at any point in this process, just pause and breathe—it’ll actually help. You can do this. Do you believe you can?

What is your “why?” Before the conversation begins, try to do a little introspection. Dig deep and try to understand the reason why it’s important for you to discuss this—it can help you know when and how to start the conversation. Consider writing your “why” down or making a list of reasons. If the conversation gets derailed or runs out of momentum, you can always come back to your “why.”

The goal is to have a conversation, so as you prepare, remember you’re not preparing to give a speech. Being prepared to speak and truly listen is key. Keep in mind that even though you’ll be prepared, the person you’re talking with might be caught completely off guard. If they aren’t quite ready to talk yet, know that it’s okay to give them a bit of time to think about it as well. Are you willing to have more than one conversation about this, if this one doesn’t cover everything and/or gets off track?

The goal is to have a conversation with your child, so as you prepare, remember you’re not preparing to give a big speech or lecture. Being prepared to speak and listen is key. Keep in mind that even though you’ll be prepared, your child might be caught completely off guard, be scared, or even embarrassed. We’ll review tips to help you prepare to talk with them, but don’t worry, you can always have more than one conversation about this!

The goal is to have a conversation with your parents, and that means that you’ll talk and so will they. Being prepared for them to respond will help you to keep up your courage and continue the conversation. Don’t worry, we’ll give you plenty of tips to help make this conversation as direct and smooth as possible!