In recent months it seems like natural disasters, large-scale tragedies and social upheavals have been the relentless. As parents, we want to protect our children from all of the negativity in the world, but in times like these, it is almost impossible to do so. The next best thing we can do for them is to help them process through these events and model healthy coping habits.
No one knows your child better than you do, so you can be the judge of how much information she can handle – especially if she’s inquisitive and has a lot of questions – as long as you remain concise and direct without getting too graphic. There are also specific strategies you can use when talking with children with various developmental disabilities or unhealthy coping habits. For example, with older school-aged children, it is important that you don’t wait for your child to initiate the conversation. If there is any chance that she will have some exposure to discussions about these news events, then be proactive and help provide a healthy framework by which she can process what has happened.
Let’s remember our kids are watching and hurting too.