father and son talk(Courtesy of Parenting.com)

The first thing you see on Lance Armstrong's Twitter feed is an image of Lance the dad: He's on a bike, with one of his sons dangling from his neck. The first thing you read on Armstrong's Twitter feed is "Raising my five kids. Fighting cancer." That shows you where he priorities are. It makes me wonder if Armstrong has already endured the toughest conversation of his life, one that predated the chat with Oprah, which will air as a two-part series on OWN beginning Thursday night. I wonder if he sat below those seven well-lit Tour de France jerseys on display in his Austin home, with five kids next to him on the sofa, and explained to them What Dad Did.

Bing: More heroes that have fallen from grace

Once the world knows the story later this week, how will we explain it to our kids? When they come home asking what doping is, or why Shaun White is sporting a black eye on the local news, or why no players were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, how do you rectify that with the poster over the bed or the yellow bracelet on their wrist? How is a parent supposed to talk to their child about such things?

“At a minimum, validate the emotions of the child,” says Paul Coleman, a psychologist in Wappingers Falls, New York, and author of How To Say It To Your Child When Bad Things Happen. “If they say they’re sad or worried, say ‘Yeah, I am too.'” And be honest with your responses. “Sometimes ‘I don’t know’ is a good answer, because it might be true.”