How to help kids cope with tragic events in the news
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The latest mass shooting has sent shockwaves far beyond Texas, as events like this can take an emotional toll, especially on children.
In the wake of something as devastating as what happened in Uvalde, Texas, it’s not hard to see how news of current events can be a source of negativity, and be particularly impactful on little kids. So how should you talk to your kids about the things they see in the news?
Events like the mass murder in Uvalde get a lot of news coverage, but that can be interpreted differently by little kids.
“For younger children, if they’re seeing these kinds of things consistently, it’s kind of tricking their brain into thinking that these are things that are happening all the time, right now, right here.”
That’s why Clinical Services Director for the Lampion Center Emily Morrison says it’s important for kids to be resilient before they inevitably encounter things that are upsetting to them. She says a big part of that is how they feel.
“One of the things that we need to remember is that the beginning of building resilience and the beginning of building good coping skills is helping kids feel as if they’re in a safe and secure, emotionally and physically, environment,” said Morrison.
She says it’s important for parents to talk to their kids about what they’re seeing, of course in an age-appropriate way. She says parents need to listen to how their kids feel, and make sure they feel heard.
“Listen to what their concerns are, and validate that those concerns and worries are real,” said Morrison.
Screens can be a source of negativity, so she encourages families to take breaks from the TV and focus on getting outside and establishing relationships with other people to keep anyone from feeling isolated.
She says parents can do a lot by making sure their kids don’t feel alone.
“Let’s talk about that, but know that I’m here with you and you’re safe,” said Morrison.
Morrison says it can be meaningful to observe the world around us, and try to recognize ways to be a positive influence in our communities by recognizing those who may need some attention or help.
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