With continuing reminders of violence and disasters in the media, I often get asked how to address these difficult topics with children. This first week back to school has been no different in light of recent news stories. To help you with these potentially difficult conversations at home, here are some basic tips…
- Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routines.
- Limit exposure to television and the news.
- Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.
- Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.
- Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
- You must assess your own response to the crisis and stress first, so you are fully ready to support your child.
- Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.
Here are some additional resources on how to talk about and address the news and world events in an age-appropriate manner.
- How to Talk to Children About Difficult News from the American Psychological Association
- Helping Children Cope with Frightening News from the Child Mind Institute
- Helping Children with Tragic Events in the News from the Public Broadcasting Service
- Helping Kids Navigate Scary News Stories from the Public Broadcasting Service
- Helping Children Cope: Tips for Parents and Caregivers (includes specific tips by age group) from the Institute for Disaster Mental Health
Article contributed by ES Councelor Lindsey Moore
Image credit: Getty Images