Talking With Your Kids: How to "Re-Do" a Conversation Gone Wrong

Nicole Monastersky Maderas
by Nicole Monastersky Maderas

Have you ever had a conversation with your child and wish you could have a ‘Re-do’? You can! Here’s how.

The “Re-do” is a technique I find useful for all types of conversations. The Re-do works for subjects we may find  intimidating, such as sexuality or puberty, as well as for issues related to friendships— which actually provide foundational experiences for developing healthy relationships. Revisiting a less-than-successful conversation not only offers a second chance to connect, but also shows our children that we are not perfect.

The Re-do conversation might begin with, “I’ve been thinking about the talk we had last night and I’d like to Re-Do the conversation we started.  Would it be ok to start again?” Re-do conversation remind our children that we –as parents – are available to listen, support and help them work through problems.

The Re-do conversation has other benefits. When we revisit a difficult conversation or topic, we are modeling tenacity. We show our children that we are interested in helping them problem-solve and more—that we want to help them find resolution. In returning to conversations involving intimidating or uncomfortable topics, we deepen our connection with our children and establish building blocks for future and ongoing communication.

Revisiting topics that merit additional attention helps build parent-child connectedness. This connection is shown to be a protective factor for positive health outcomes for our children.

For more information on how to initiate conversations, and for tips on how to respond to difficult questions, contact BACHE (Bay Area Communities for Health Education) for more resources. 

About the Author

Nicole Monastersky Maderas, Alameda County Project Consultant, is dedicated to promoting access to and information about sexual and reproductive health. Through previous work at Pharmacy Access Partnership, a center of the nonprofit Pacific Institute for Women’s Health, Nicole provided educational opportunities to pharmacists and community-based organizations about the clinical and psycho-social aspects of women’s health and created a new initiative to promote pharmacy environments to meet the needs of adolescents. She has worked with regional, state and national partner organizations to seek changes in laws and regulations to improve access to birth control products, and conducted research on consumers’ and health care professionals’ opinions about contraceptive access. Nicole worked with MEXFAM, Mexico’s foundation for family planning, evaluating the family planning services provided in clinics throughout the country. She is a member of the Advisory Council for the California Adolescent Health Collaborative. Nicole received her MPH from UCLA. She lives in the East Bay with her husband and two young daughters.