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How To Talk To Your Child About Tragedy

Posted on: Tuesday, April 16th, 2013  In: Blog  |  No Comments »

 

1. Be Honest.  Your children are always better off hearing difficult and disturbing information from

their parents, rather than a peer.  It is important to take as much fear and anxiety out of your

description.

 

2. Limit television and media as much as possible.   Children who are

exposed to gruesome details and pictures can become very disturbed and

anxious. This is something you need to be aware of not just in your home but in friend’s homes, restaurants, stores etc.

 

3. Express that things are going to get better.  This happened, it’s

horrible, but hopefully we will find out what caused this

terrible tragedy and whoever was involved will be severely punished.

This gives children a belief that in some way things will be ok.

 

4.  Instill hope and resilience.  Life goes on,  so must we.  Try

distracting children away from the worry by focusing on something more

positive.  Kids can only process so much.

 

5.  Just because your child is an adolescent or a teenager doesn’t mean

they can “handle” it better.   Many times they personalize these

types of situations and this causes a lot of fear and avoidance.  We

want children’s lives to be as normal as possible.

 

 6.  In a divorce situation, children need their parents to be on the same page in

these types of situations.   Parents need to come together as a united  front and talk about how

they are going to address these kind of topics so that they are presenting the information similarly.

 

7.  If you notice your children aren’t eating or sleeping well this is a

sign that they may be anxious about something.  Keep an eye out for

atypical behavior.  If this  behavior persists talk to your

pediatrician, psychologist, or therapist so they can help them work

through any anxious thoughts they are having as well as help you

manage their anxieties at home.

 

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