Speaking with children and young people about difficult subjects

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When in conversation with children displaying problematic sexual behaviours it is important to ask how they are doing, and to follow up on your own concerns by initiating more conversations. Adults must openly care and show interest by asking open questions, be reassuring and handle hearing the children’s stories; this is how you build trust. Children usually confide in people they explicitly trust, and this trust should be upheld to the best of your ability, despite sometimes needing the help of other adults to properly help the child, as well as the law mandating you take action to prevent violence and assault.

Suggested conversation-starters:

  • “You said something that caught my attention, could you tell me more about it?”
  • “I heard what you said, what was it about?”
  • “I have found out (describe clearly what it is). I would very much like to help you with this, but to do that I need to know more.”

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