Do you ever need to have a conversation with your child about something significant? Certain subjects are a challenge to address. Subjects like divorce, separation, alcoholism, mental health issues, or death.
Difficult, but necessary subjects.
Find opportunities to talk while engaged in some other activity. Driving in the car can be an excellent opportunity, but only if there is an ease in the flow of your conversation.
Often it is helpful to talk while children are engaged in play. This lessens the intensity of full eye contact and awkward silence. While you are playing with children, an occasion may present itself where they can be more open.
Observe if or when they resist. That is your cue to stop. Pressure is not helpful. Pay attention to when they find it hard to respond. Listen to their questions and try to be direct and honest.
Allow them time to process. Small bits of information presented in small doses are useful.
Coloring is a gateway activity, as is playing with dolls.
When your children ask you to play, it is often an attempt to engage with you to relieve their fears, frustrations, or sad feelings.
Be willing to play, even when it is a slight inconvenience. Stay aware of these cues. A few meaningful sentences at opportune moments can go far in addressing their needs.