"I feel..., when you..., because..., and I would like for you..."

Early on in parenting advice we are told to tell our children "use your words." This is something we parents can practice too, no matter what the topic, including the most challenging ones with our partners.

“I feel…, when you…, because…, and I would like for you to….” is a good template for us to follow as well. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for ourselves and others, so practice with the little things first, then you'll feel more comfortable with the more prickly topics. Here is an example from a couple who shared with us this conversation starter that helped them move forward in their family. 

"I feel…sad

when you…are reluctant to tell the truth about our children's genetic origins.

because… they need to know how much we love and respect them and want them to feel secure and safe in who they are. I want them to know they can always hear the truth from us first about this or any subject no matter how uncomfortable it might make us feel. They are growing up fast, and I don't want them to discover the truth from someone else and then question if we had lied to them about other things in their life.

I would like for you… to respect and be proud of our choices in how we brought our child into our family. I'd also like you to be honest and open in telling our child the truth of their genetic origins, or at least allow me to tell them. If you are still having a hard time with this, I will support you in any way that I can to find a way for you to feel good about this. 


Research and history show that as with adopted children and decades of donor conceived children; that the earlier we tell our child about their origins, the easier it is for everyone.

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