I get the unique opportunity to ask kids BIG questions in a setting that is somewhat pressure free. “Are there things that you DON’T want to talk to your parents about?” Every hand goes up in the air. It surprises me every time. I go on to explain to them that you guys (the parents) love them no matter what they are struggling with, and want to help. I also challenge them to talk to you guys about the specific things they are thinking about.
So, here’s my challenge for you parents (and me!): ask your kids specific questions. Reassure them that they do not have hide their thoughts from you. Don’t be surprised if it’s something as simple as finding an eraser that didn’t belong to them. But, also understand that it could be something very serious. I won’t list the things…you know them. But, I will remind you that they are real things. You know your kids…when you ask specific (and, often, uncomfortable-for-parents) questions, you will know if they need to talk by their reactions.
No matter what it is, be ready to respond with the same blend of mercy and grace that Jesus gives us.