Saturday, December 15, 2012

Tips on tragic events with children

By now many of you have probably heard about the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut yesterday. It's so incredibly unimaginable and heartbreaking. It's been a difficult thing to process and understand and I'm having difficulty putting into words how I'm feeling. Mr. L shared these tips I want to share with all of you on how to handle tragic events with children.

As we continue to process this senseless tragedy, the Fred Rogers Company has good tips on how to handle tragic events with kids:

Among the hints listed at the Fred Rogers Company are:

  • Do your best to keep the television off, or at least limit how much your child sees of any news event.
  • Try to keep yourself calm. Your presence can help your child feel more secure.
  • Give your child extra comfort and physical affection, like hugs or snuggling up together with a favorite book. Physical comfort goes a long way towards providing inner security. That closeness can nourish you, too.
  • Try to keep regular routines as normal as possible. Children and adults count on their familiar pattern of everyday life.
  • Plan something that you and your child enjoy doing together, like taking a walk, going on a picnic, having some quiet time, or doing something silly. It can help to know there are simple things in life that can help us feel better, in good times and in bad.
  • Even if children don't mention what they've seen or heard in the news, it can help to ask what they think has happened. If parents don't bring up the subject, children can be left with their misinterpretations. You may be really surprised at how much your child has heard from others.
  • Focus attention on the helpers, like the police, firemen, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and volunteers. It's reassuring to know there are many caring people who are doing all they can to help others in this world.
  • Let your child know if you're making a donation, going to a town meeting, writing a letter or e-mail of support, or taking some other action. It can help children to know that adults take many different active roles and that we don't give in to helplessness in times of worldwide crisis.
Mister Rogers had also highly suggested that parents give extra comfort to their kids on days like these to provide that extra sense of security - makes sense but sometimes we need reminders when we're in shock.

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Lots of hugs--Ms. Esther :)