Talking with Children About Tough Issues

Helpful Information for Parents 

School Safety Tipline 1-844-PUSD-TIP (1-844-787-3847)

Listed below are several helpful tips to aid parents in talking with their children about tough issues. Also listed are various contacts that can help parents by providing more information and resources for support.

  1. Communicate Your Values - As a parent, you have a wonderful opportunity to be the first person to talk with your children about tough issues. Remember: research shows that children want and need moral guidance from their moms and dads; so don't hesitate to make your beliefs clear.
  2. Initiate Conversations With Your Children - Just one or two questions could help start a valuable discussion that comes from everyday circumstances and events.
  3. Discuss Sensitive Subjects - If you feel uncomfortable talking about sensitive subjects with your young child, you're not alone. Many parents feel awkward and uneasy, especially if they are anxious about the subject. But, for your kid's sake, try to overcome your nervousness and bring up the issue with your child.
    • In talking with your child, provide simple, accurate information to questions.
    • Repeat your child's words that recognize fear, anxiety, or insecurity. (You are sorry because… You are afraid that…)
    • Provide reassuring comments. (We are together…We care about you…We will take care of you.)
  4. Encourage Time for Listening - How do you create a time and environment for talking and listening? By being encouraging, supportive, and positive. Listening carefully to your children lets them know that they're important to you and can lead to valuable discussions about a wide variety of issues. Listening carefully also can help you to better understand what your children really want to know as well as what they already understand. Listen and talk to your child about his/her own feelings.
  5. Be Patient - By listening patiently, children have time to think at their own pace and you are letting them know that they are worthy of our time.
  6. Seeking Professional Help - If you suspect a problem, you can turn to your family physicians, clergy, schools, and resources available in your community for assistance.
Resources available:
  1. Your school site administrator can provide you with information about support services available for your children at the school site and within the District.
  2. The Poway Unified School District maintains a hotline for reporting information or seeking help. The hotline number is 858-668-4161.
  3. A website is available that gives information on "Megan's Law" and the general location of registered sex offenders in your area (
  4. Individuals can access more specific information about sex offenders by contacting their local law enforcement agency, or visiting the San Diego Police Department Headquarters at 1400 E Street from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Dial (619) 531-2000 for 24-hour non-emergency calls and general information. Please call (858) 484-3154 if you live in the 858 area code. POWAY INFORMATION: San Diego County Sheriff's, Poway Station; 13100 Bowron Road,Poway; CA 92064-5775;Emergency:9-1-1; Dispatch:(858)565-5200; Business: (858) 513-2800; Fax:(858)748-7954.
  5. The San Diego District attorney's Office provides the following information about what parents can do to protect their children regarding the Internet: "By following some simple rules, you can minimize the dangers to yourself and your children online.
    • Keep your computer in a common area of the house.
    • Set time and use restrictions.
    • Use blocking and filtering programs.
  6. Remember that the most important way to protect your child online is to educate yourself and be involved with your child's online use. (For more tips go to

The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, immigration status, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact: Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, James Jimenez, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, 1-858-521-2800, extension 2121, For students, you may contact Title IX Coordinator/ 504 Coordinator Jamie Dayhoff, Director of Attendance and Discipline, Poway Unified School District, 1-858-521-2840,

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POWAY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT | 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128 | (858) 521-2800