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Keep talking to your children . . .

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From the moment I found out I was pregnant with Little Bean, the worries began. Will my baby be ok, will I be a good Mum – pretty much all the worries that most parents have. Of course she arrived safely, followed by her younger brothers and with each one, new worries came along too. As they grow up I often think about what sort of person they will become and when they are throwing tantrums, I get a tiny insight into what their teenage years might have in store for me!

When I was growing up, it was just myself and my Mum. She was my Mum, Dad, big Sister and best friend all rolled into one and I knew that I could talk to her about anything. If I had any worries or troubles, I would tell her and although she wouldn’t be able to make them all magically go away, she would make me feel better about them just by being there. I hope that as my children grow they will know that both Daddy and I will be there for them. I hope that they will talk to us about whatever troubles they might be going through, rather than keeping them bottled up or telling them to the wrong person.

Railway Children and their long-term partner, Aviva have launched a new campaign which draws attention to the fact that every 5 minutes a child runs away from home in the UK as a result of issues such as family changes, death or divorce. This amounts to a heart-breaking 100,000 under 16 year olds running away from home every year. Many do so because they feel they have no one to talk to about the issues they are facing, but the dangers they face on the street are often far worse than the problems they have left behind.

Every child should have someone to talk to and having open conversations is important, especially when they deal with difficult or sensitive issues. A survey conducted by Railway Children and Aviva reveals that 1 in 4 children are “too scared to talk” about worries with parents, and many parents aren’t broaching difficult topics such as changes in the family, death or separation with their children. In addition a third of parents admitted that they would only start a difficult conversation with their child when the issue arises.

Tackling tough conversations, however difficult or awkward, is vital to help ensure children don’t become isolated and feel that running away is their only option. That is why Railway Children and Aviva have come together to launch the Awkward Conversations campaign at www.avivaconversations.co.uk. For every conversation included on the hub, Aviva will donate £2 to Railway Children up to a total of £100,000.

Most families have to work every hard to make ends meet and provide a safe and welcoming home for their children, it’s so easy to get bogged down with the daily grind and just assume that your children are ok because they are ‘playing quietly’ or watching TV but it’s important that we take the time out to relax and have fun with them to keep the conversation channels open. We need to show them that we are there for them and not just assume that they ‘know that’.

 

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