Try as we might, our little ones can sense our anxiety about troubling events happening in the world. How do we make them feel safe when they know something is going on?
Whether the awful events are worldwide or in your backyard, here are a few guides for talking to your children:
- The Fred Rogers Company has tips on talking about tragic eventsopens a new window and wise words from Mr. Rogers himself. There are also sections on dealing with deathopens a new window, divorce and separationopens a new window and dealing with fearopens a new window.
- The messages we send our children after tragedies is important. Psychology Todayopens a new window breaks down what to say and what to hold back.
- Each age group, and child for that matter, handles sad news differently. A guest post on Captain Awkward, an advice blog, tackles this subject.
- The American Psychological Associationopens a new window also stresses, in addition to talking to your children, to take care of yourself, too.
- Don't know what to expect after a tragedy? Children's Hospital Coloradoopens a new window has 5 quick tips for talking to children about disturbing current events.
- The Mayo Clinicopens a new window answers frequent questions and gives guidance on the needs of specific age groups.
- Common Sense Mediaopens a new window provides a list of tips for making your child feel safe.
Fred Rogers said after September 11, 2001, "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers—so many caring people in this world."