Parenting Through Uncertainty

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Parenting Class

Parenting Through Uncertainty, Talking to Children about Illness, Death, and Other Topics We’d Rather Avoid

In this series, Dr. Emily Ach will touch on how to have difficult conversations about the death and illness of a parent, relative, sibling, or peer, as well as COVID-related uncertainty. There will be a focus on the dangers of well-intentioned secrets, tips and strategies for talking with kids of all ages about uncomfortable topics while promoting resilience, managing caregiver anxiety and avoidance around these difficult discussions, what to do when a child asks the question you’ve been dreading, and things to notice when your child might need more help.

Free Webinar

Parenting Through Uncertainty, Talking to Children about Illness, Death, and Other Topics We’d Rather Avoid

Uncertainty, while an inevitable part of our lives, can be difficult to face. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic increased uncertainty twofold - and with it, increased other challenges we face in our daily lives. Dr. Ach notes a common way of coping with uncertainty is avoidance. Research suggests, however, it is better to face these difficult topics than to hide them. Hiding information from our loved ones can send the unintentional message that the topic in question is too “unbearable” for a child to deal with. It also sends the message that the child is not “strong enough” or “mature enough” to handle the information. Moreover, hiding information can disrupt the trust between a parent and a child; in turn, it is more likely a child hides their own issues from parents. 

By contrast, open communication not only increases trust in the family but is also proven to help a child’s mental health and well-being. To help parents deal with the uncertainty that comes with difficult topics, the Stanford Parenting Center has outlined four important steps: 1) preparing in advance; 2) using clear, concise, and age-appropriate language; 3) being truthful, and authentic; 4) providing information in layers. Watch the webinar to learn more.

Presenter: Dr. Emily Ach, Ph.D.
Moderator: Victoria Cosgrove, Ph.D.

Individual Treatment

To Make an Appointment: Call Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at (650) 723-5511

Wellness Resources

Mindfulness practices can reduce stress and cultivate wellness for parents and children. The Stanford Mindfulness Program offers classes for parents and teens as well as recorded guided mindfulness meditations through the SPC website and YouTube channel. 


Mindfulness for Parents Class. Click here for details and registration

Positive Parenting During COVID-19 Series  for recorded webinars, click here

Autism Parent Support Group NOTICE:  The next support group meeting will be Monday, APRIL 1, 2024 7pm due to spring break. There will not be a meeting on Monday, April 8, 2024. The next meeting will be Monday, May 13, 2024. Now via Zoom until further notice. Meets on second Mondays from 7-8:30pm (Sept.-June). To be added to the monthly email with participant zoom info, click here.

Stanford Parenting Center Classes