Good news doesnt have to be thought through before it is shared. Breaking an unpleasant news, however, be it to an adult or a child, can get so complicated and overwhelming that one wouldnt know how or where to begin. An already difficult situation is made harder with the responsibility of having to delicately explain the matter to a child. This would require the parent to not only be direct and honest, but also be supportive in helping them understand and cope with their feelings.Clinical Psychologist, Mehezabin Dordi, recommends a few general measures for parents to follow while breaking unpleasant news to a child.Choose an appropriate time and place: Parents should find a quiet and private space where they can talk to their child without interruptions. It is also important to choose a time when the child is not too busy or stressed, and the parents have enough time to talk and answer any questions the child might have.Dont beat around the bush: Parents should use simple and age-appropriate language when explaining the situation to their child. They should avoid sugar-coating the truth, as this can lead to confusion and mistrust.Offer reassurance and support: Parents should reassure their child that they are loved and supported, and that they will do everything they can to help them through the situation. They should also seek additional help if needed, such as counselling, therapy or medical treatment.If a child is unresponsive towards a piece of news that has been shared, it may be because they are feeling overwhelmed, confused, or are in shock. As a parent or caregiver, validate their feelings, let the child know that it is normal to feel a range of emotions in response to difficult news. You can say something like, I can see this news is hard for you to hear. It's okay to feel upset or confused. Remember that every child processes information differently, and there is no right or wrong way to react to difficult news.If a child reacts in an extreme manner, it is important to stay calm and respond with empathy and understanding. Acknowledge the child's emotions and let them know that it is normal to feel upset, angry or scared. You can say something like, I understand that you are feeling upset right now. Its okay to feel that way. Allow the child to express their feelings and concerns without interrupting or dismissing their emotions, as this can make them feel unheard.Mehezabin advises parents to look out for the following symptoms in their child after breaking bad news to better help support the child.Emotional responses: Look out for signs of sadness, anger, frustration, fear, anxiety or confusion. Children may exhibit changes in behaviour after receiving bad news. They may become more irritable, aggressive or defiant. They may also become clingy or withdraw from social situations.Physical symptoms: They may experience physical symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches or fatigue, which may be related to stress and anxiety caused by the bad news.Sleep disturbances: The child may have trouble sleeping or experience nightmares.Changes in appetite: Children may lose their appetite or eat more than usual.Mehezabin points out that the way parents share the news should be tailored to the childs age and developmental stage. Younger children may need more simple explanations, while older children may need more details and context to the matter.Here are a few tips for the parents to deal with the situation themselves, while also supporting their child in a healthy manner.Prepare yourself: Before sharing the news with your child, take some time to prepare yourself emotionally.Be mindful of your own reactions: Children can pick up on their parent's emotions, so it's important to be mindful of your own reactions. Try to remain calm and composed, and avoid getting angry or upset in front of your child.Seek support for yourself: Dealing with bad news can be difficult for parents as well. Don't hesitate to seek support from family, friends, or a mental health professional.Avoid blaming or shaming: It's important to avoid blaming or shaming your child for their reaction to the bad news.Remember that every family and every situation is unique. Its important to be flexible and open-minded, as you navigate this difficult time with your child, advises Mehezabin.