Tragic news such as killing, shooting and kidnapping can become extremely disturbing to the innocent minds of children. However, if the kids won't learn to face the hard reality of life, they will surely won't thrive. So, how can parents help their children about this matter without causing any stress on the kids' system?
Experts who are part of the Educational Advisory Board for The Goddard School have spoken with Parenting and here are their suggestions to help your children learn about horrific events without causing stress to them.
Make sure you understand your child's question.
Dr. Kyle Pruett, an expert on children and family relationships and clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine said that when a child hears a scary news, they will surely ask for details, such as, 'Who died? Will that happen to me? Or, Why would somebody do such thing?'
But before you answer any of the questions your child throws to you, make sure you heard it right. Then, you can ask the question back to your child, like asking, "What do you think about it?"
Then, based on your kid's answer, you will understand what are the things worrying him or her. From there, you can offer a reassurance that there has nothing to worry about and your family will be fine.
Dr. Pruett said kids are very sensitive, especially when it comes to worrisome events. Hence, parents should explain the scary events to their kids in a very simple way. And if your child asks you if you're upset about the news, he advised that parents should be honest and always reassure your children that you're just fine.
Dr. Craig Bach, vice president of education for The Goddard School supported Pruett's suggestion. "I want my response, body language and demeanor to tell them that everything is and will be okay," he said. In addition, he explained that when there are some upsetting events, he always shows to his kids his true emotions to teach them that it's okay to show their true feelings.