Karamo Brown, co-host of the Netflix series “Queer Eye” and host of his self-titled talk show “Karamo,” joined Scripps News Live HostLauren Magarino on Monday to discuss how to address a variety of topics with your kids.
Karamo is known for tackling difficult conversations as the designated culture expert on “Queer Eye,” and he has carried this frankness onto his own show, including recently opening up about the time he found his oldest son Jason suffering from a drug overdose.
He said as a parent, he was guilty of putting his son in a box and because he was doing well in school and other aspects of life, Karamo didn’t look at his son as someone who might be struggling with pressures. But that wasn’t the case.
“I have to always have transparent conversations with my child no matter if I think they are or are not doing something,” said Karamo. “It’s about honest and open communication at every age.”
He said children want to have their own identity and feel validated, and if parents support that and include them in conversations it will help them grow.
Karamo said with all the different things that circle social media nowadays, it’s important to teach your children how to really listen to what is being put out there.
“I think empathetic listening is a skill that we don’t practice enough in our world, where we really listen to what someone else is experiencing,” said Karamo. He added that this is something he tries to do as a parent too.
Karamo continued the message of having honesty with children when talking about the financial burdens parents may face, specifically during the holidays. A recent survey by Bankrate said 54% of holiday shoppers expect to be burdened this year.
Karamo said vulnerability is key. He said being open with your children about the financial struggles you’re facing as a family doesn’t put the burden on your children, but rather teaches them how it is okay to ask for help when you need it.
“I think that in this season, I think we need to do a lot more being vulnerable, asking for help and letting people know where we truly are,” said Karamo.
He shared how he grew up poor, but he doesn’t have a childhood memory of the holidays where that was the focus. Karamo said his memories of Christmas morning include waking up to Christmas music, eating and laughing with his family and feeling thankful for the one gift his mother would give him.
“It managed my expectations from abundance to being thankful for what is in front of me,” said Karamo.
“Comparison is the thief of joy,” he added.
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