Ask a Child Therapist: Talking to Your Child About Tragic Events & World News
As a child therapist, I often get asked how to talk to children about tragic events and the world news. It can be difficult to know what to say and how much information to share with your child. Here are some tips to help you navigate these conversations:
It’s important to be honest with your child about what happened. Use age-appropriate language and avoid using euphemisms or vague language. Children are often more resilient than we give them credit for and can handle more information than we think.
Limit Exposure to News
Children can become overwhelmed and anxious if they are constantly exposed to news about tragic events. Limit their exposure to news and social media, and monitor what they are watching or reading. It’s important to balance staying informed with protecting their mental health.
Encourage your child to ask questions and express their feelings. Validate their emotions and let them know it’s okay to feel sad, scared, or angry. Let them lead the conversation and answer their questions as honestly as possible.
Focus on Safety
Reassure your child that they are safe and that you will do everything you can to keep them safe. Talk to them about safety measures and what to do in an emergency. This can help them feel more in control and less anxious.
Model Coping Strategies
Children learn how to cope with difficult situations by watching their parents or caregivers. Model healthy coping strategies, such as taking breaks from news or social media, practicing self-care, or talking to a trusted friend or family member.
Seek Professional Help
If your child is struggling to cope with a tragic event or the news, consider seeking professional help. A therapist can provide support and guidance for both you and your child.
Remember, talking to your child about tragic events and the world news can be challenging, but it’s important to have these conversations. By being honest, limiting exposure to news, encouraging questions, focusing on safety, modeling coping strategies, and seeking professional help if needed, you can help your child navigate these difficult times.
- Child therapy for traumatic events
- Coping strategies for children and global news
- Talking to children about tragedy and violence
- Child mental health and current events
- Helping children process difficult news and emotions