We all might be feeling on edge these days. I know I am after the bombings in my hometown of NYC this week. But I have coping skills as an adult. How hard must it to be to be a kid and see this stuff on TV? How do we help our children feel safe as we do our best to keep our own fears in check? We know that children need help to process these unfathomable occurrences. The bad news doesn’t just go over their heads, and they will draw their own conclusions and suffer inner fears alone without adult support. The trouble is, what do we do when we don’t know what to say? When we don’t have answers?
Thank goodness, there is some great expert advice out there to guide adults in helping kids process disasters, both natural and manmade. Here are some links to get you started.
Discussing Tragic Events in the News
Talking to Children about Shootings
Stay safe out there, and help children in your care to feel safe by monitoring their exposure to news on TV and the internet. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, or if you work in a hospital or school setting, gently encourage adults to keep TV/radio news off in the presence of children, and to be aware of children’s listening ears when discussing events with one another. And then, begin the tough discussions.
2 thoughts on “Bombings & Shootings & Stabbings, OH MY!”
Hi Deb, I agree that it is a good thing to have those resources at hand. But some of us, even as adults, cannot handle the graphic material that is shown on television. I find that I can listen to CBC news reports and discussions for the most part because they are not sensationalized. I can also read, at my own pace, bite size pieces of news, or even really graphic material, because I can control how much and how fast I have to take it in. Television news can easily give me nightmares, even when I have had a chance to talk with someone about it.
I really believe that it is just so abnormal for little children to be exposed to pictures, behaviour and events beyond their comprehension. When my father was overseas in WW2, his son did not have to watch pictures of death and destruction every evening. He was sheltered from all that by the natural world, not exposed by the technological world that invades people’s homes now. I am not forgetting the children who suffered directly. So little could be done to bring them comfort of any kind.
Thank you for your efforts to share thoughtful approaches to helping kids. I hope teachers and others have the ability to put these ideas to work.
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You make some excellent points here. You are so right about nightmares. I am prone to them as well after viewing violent images. We all need a break from disturbing visual and auditory content. Trauma is always something we want to avoid for children in our care. And there are so many possible reasons why adults might fail to protect their children. They may be desensitized themselves, or too overwhelmed to keep their child’s needs in the forefront.