Sunday, December 16, 2012

How to talk to your children about tragedy

I have had a few questions from parents about how to tell their child about the school shooting on Friday.  Here are the few tips that I gave them.

  • Be honest - If you tell them something is not true or they hear the truth from someone else, they can second guess all the other things that you told them. 

  • Use kid language - Share it in a way that makes it simple to understand.  For example, "A man who was upset hurt many teachers and children today.  He is no longer able to hurt others, so you and I are safe."

  • Share how it makes you feel and validate their feelings. - You can share if you are sad, and that many people all over the country and world are sad because of what happened.  If they feel sad or scared, that is ok.

  • Do not pay too much attention to the media or images on the TV. - The stories on TV, Internet, or the paper are not meant for kids and can cause more harm than good.

  • Help them come up with a way to help if they express a desire to. - They might want to draw a picture to send to one of the families, or maybe find a way to donate a stuffed animal.  They could mail a card, or light a prayer candle.  These types of things help a child feel included in not only the grieving process, but also the healing process. 

1 comment:

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