Home    Subscribe    Contact    Login

Talking To Kids About Tragedies

by lynjo (follow)
Children (53)      Safe (2)      Tragedy (1)      Professional help (1)      Listen (1)      Grief (1)      Counselling (1)     
Increasingly we are faced with news stories about tragedies happening in Australia and overseas. Our children are not immune from such news so it's important for us to be aware of monitoring what they hear and helping them to make some kind of sense of it all.

Boy looking serious

Here's a few tips, adapted from advice from the American Psychiatric Association, that might be helpful in supporting your kids:

1. Look out for stress reactions. These can be physical as well as psychological and can present as sleeping or eating changes, headaches or stomach aches. Children may also be more worried about leaving you. If you notice these, ask the child how they are feeling and if there's anything they would like to talk about or ask questions about. Given children time and space if they are not ready to talk straight away.

2. Promote an open and safe environment where all questions and comments are ok. This might include 1:1 time with a child as well as discussions at meal times or in the car. Encourage children to ask if they are unsure and always be supportive of their efforts to find out answers.

3. Use age appropriate words and concepts. Sometimes children hear people talking or news reports and can misunderstand or feel uncertain because they don't understand what is happening. Think about how the child might be understanding the situation and help them to make sense of it in ways that suit their age, language abilities and current understanding of the world around them.

Boy looking serious

4. If necessary repeat information as many times as required. Young children often ask the same question over and over. This suggests they haven't received the information they need or that they require reassurance. Be careful to encourage questions while also promoting a sense of calm.

5. Acknowledge the child's feelings and thoughts by listening actively. Let children know that all feelings are ok and it's normal to have lots of different feelings and reactions to situations.

6. Recognise that children may take the information from the news and put it into the context of their own family life. They may worry about their own or their family or friends' safety for example. While it's important to be reassuring to children, also make sure not to make unrealistic promises or promises you might not be able to keep.

7. Help children to express feelings and thoughts in ways that suit them and their age. Some children might like to draw or play with toys to make sense of the information they are hearing.

8. Encourage help seeking so that children know that there are always people who can help them if they are worried or need help. This is important in building resilience.

9. Model a calm, problem solving approach to life events.Children learn from the adults around them so be mindful of how you are presenting to children. While not dismissing the tragedy, also focus on being hopeful.

10. Place boundaries and restrictions on television watching when frightening images are being shown. This can be helpful for adults as well as children. IT can help the whole family when routines and fun activities continue.

Boy looking serious

If you've tried the above and symptoms remain present, the child is preoccupied with the tragedy, and fears and thoughts are impacting on the child's life, it can be useful to seek professional help. A good starting point can be the child's early childhood centre or school or the family's general practitioner.

All photos were sourced from Pixabay.

#Professional help
I like this Article - 1
[ print friendly ]
Share: email  facebook  twitter
More Articles by lynjo
Parents often say that the main hope they have for their children is that they will be happy
It's rapidly approaching that time of year where senior year students can start to feel the pressure...
Nature was a big part of my life growing up
There's been quite a bit in the news recently about a possible increase in younger children experien...
Next time we're tempted to complain about technology and what it's doing to change our world, an...
Helping children develop their independence is no doubt one of the key jobs associated with parentin...
view all articles by lynjo
Articles by lynjo on Other Hubs
It's not easy to find quietness
ID: 26863
[ Submit a Comment ]
Trending Articles
When the clocks change, or in summer months, it can be difficult if your baby wakes extra early ...
One way of cutting the cost of having a baby is to get some of your baby items second hand
When I told my son’s carers at daycare not to use nappy rash cream on him, they asked why
by Vee
If you're looking for cheap baby goods for your baby, here are some excellent stores you can go to t...
I love crystals and have a few in my collection, so when junior got a Crystal Growing Kit for Christ...
Let’s be honest; everything you could ever need to know can be found on the internet
Most preschoolers love telling jokes but don't always 'get' the punch line or might instead tell...
by Jane
PLEASE can I have a Smartphone?” Everyday this question is heard all across the world as kids...
Simply add a capful of Dettol Antiseptic Disinfectant Liquid to your playdough mixture
IPads are a great way to keep kids busy on long journeys or while waiting for appointments
by Jane
Parenting (156)
Play (88)
Tips (47)
Eating (32)
Travel (27)
Safety (23)
Sleep (11)
Copyright 2012-2018 OatLabs ABN 18113479226. mobile version