Whether we look at the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey or a mass shooting, tragedy is part of our lives and when we see it on the news it enters our household and becomes a priority to address with our children.
How do you manage tragedy in your home? We may be able to shelter our children from some news, but often times, news stories become school discussions. Discussions, images and other media input, may bring a child’s fears closer to reality.
How do you help your child feel safe in the wake of tragedy? Here are 6 ways to start.
- Start by talking with your child, rather than ignoring the issue.
- Check with school to see how they will be approaching it.
- Remind your child how they are protected in their own home.
- Ask your child what they are hearing and what questions they have.
- Ask them what they think they can do to help someone who is suffering a tragedy.
- Offer suggestions of ways that your family can help those in need: Donating clothes, time or money (from their own savings).
Remember that tragedy looks different through a child’s eyes and ignoring it will only cause further fears and may lead them to believe it’s not important or relevant. A wonderful lesson to teach our children is that we can help remove fear with discussion.