Context - Context means, how am I going to approach the topic at the beginning of the discussion. What am I going to say to introduce things? And how am I not going to get this kind of response right off the bat?
Planning - When it comes to planning, it's more than what you are going to say. It deals with:
- Where - where are you going to have the discussion? At home? In the car? At a restaurant? At a park? Location can make a big difference in the comfort level of the child you are having the discussion with.
- Resources - what do you need for the discussion? Are there some props? Do you need food? What about books, online articles, magazines? Knowing what resources are needed to make the conversation better is key.
- What - what are you going to say? How are you going to say it? What tone are you going to use? Creating an outline of what to say and how to progress in the discussion can help you to relax and make a better discussion.
Practice - take some time to practice what you are going to say. Practice allows you to get comfortable with your planned material. It also helps you stay on track during the conversation.
Anticipate - anticipate how your child is going to react. Try to determine what questions he/she will have and prepare answers for those questions. This will also prepare you for any questions you might not have thought of.
Following the steps above will help me discuss the issues that need discussing in a successful way. The plan is to have the discussions lead to a feeling akin to this.
What about you? What do you do to get ready for those "difficult" discussions?