With the media circus surrounding the recent terrorist issues “ Why is it good that someone died?” is a question that parents are struggling to answer. These thoughts (along with thoughts about the recent spate of natural disasters and the rest of the stuff that gets shown in our evening news) are sure to create anxiety in some of our little ones so are important for our readers.
These are tricky questions indeed so I did some research and came across this article “Explaining bin Laden’s death to children” By Sam Penrod and Shara Park. It includes information and quotes that I found really sensible from Dr Lisa Giles, a child psychologist for primary age children. I think her advice is sound and that the tips she gives can apply to all of the horrors that may be seen on our daily news shows.Here is an excerpt for those of you who don’t have time to read the article for yourself…
“Parents should talk to their children differently, depending on their age and development.
If you think of a 6-year-old, they are going to have a short attention span. So, you can give them a really brief answer. They certainly don’t need an in-depth answer,” Giles says.
What she believes parents should not do is avoid answering questions from their children or completely changing the subject.
“Do we want to skirt around and totally avoid the whole issue? … that tends to create more anxiety in kids,” Giles says. “And so when you are in that situation of something is going on and no one’s talking about it, the kid is going to be imagining way worse than it is, and that heightens the anxiety and tension.”
If any of you wish to read the whole article here it is!
We also recommend some ‘quiet time’ for children who are upset or stressed about these issues. Meditation is perfect, try a guided visualisation to redirect little minds to something a bit more positive, http://www.rainbowcrystalconnection.com/2011/04/04/two-mindfulness-exercises-to-reduce-stress/
The positive affirmation ” I AM SAFE” can be useful too! For more info on affirmations see http://www.rainbowcrystalconnection.com/2011/05/05/affirmations-4/