Talking to Kids About Tough Sh*t

March 30, 2022  |  Published by


Divorce. Natural disasters. Death of a pet or loved one. School shootings. War. Illness. Sex. Suicide. COVID-19. Bullying. Racism.

This kind of sh*t is tough to talk about... especially with our little ones. They don't have enough life experience to understand some of the elements involved in complex, difficult topics.

On March 30, 2022, Candelen presented a live, open dialog centered around helping parents, families, and caregivers navigate those uncomfortable conversations.

Watch the recording below to learn about putting things into perspective, fielding questions, and searching for answers together. This event examines real-life experiences from our panelists—Lindsay Olivarez, Britt VanSickle, and Ethan Lovett—to dissect what was done well, what could have been done better, and how both adult and child walked away from the conversation. Together, we worked on addressing feelings, providing reassurance, breaking down topics to their simplest terms, catching our own biases, and much more.

This event was facilitated by Jennifer Tunning, Candelen Director of Clinical Services.

Lindsay Olivarez has been a member of Candelen's Board of Directors since 2015. After spending 10 years as a practicing attorney, her primary title is now "Mom," but she keeps busy by adjunct teaching at the collegiate level, writing for East Valley Moms, and taking too many photos of her kids and dogs.

Britt VanSickle is a divorced, single mom of three amazing biracial children, contributor with East Valley Moms, domestic violence advocate, registered lobbyist, grant writer, volunteer, and nonprofit fundraiser. As an Arizona native, she has watched the cultural shift in the valley for decades and strives to raise responsible, compassionate humans while navigating co-parenting.

Ethan Lovett is a happily married (to his high school sweetheart!) father of a bold, sassy 4-year-old girl. When he isn't flying drones and filming commercials for work, he enjoys gardening, raising livestock on his farm in Georgia, grilling, and woodworking.

Jennifer Tunning is a licensed clinical social worker who is certified in gerontology and perinatal mental health. She currently serves as the Director of Clinical Services at Candelen and is passionate about harm reduction, community advocacy, and marginalized populations. In her spare time, Jennifer likes to hike, bake, play with her corgi, and runs the Social Worker's Breakroom podcast.

Candelen would like to extend our gratitude to Lindsay, Britt, and Ethan for their honesty and vulnerability. Their willingness to open up about themselves, their families, and their experiences provides a foundation for others to have these hard conversations in their own homes and spaces.

Madeleine Lovett

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