Broadcasts are full of stories about violence, sometimes even at schools. If your child has heard about or seen something that frightens him, it’s important to talk about it. These tips will help:
• Think first. You may be angry, sad, fearful or confused. Talking with another adult can help you understand your feelings and decide how to help your child.
• Ask your child how he feels. Listen carefully to his response. Can you tell what he is most afraid of?
• Answer your child’s questions—not questions you expect him to ask. This helps you focus on his fears, not yours.
• Be honest. You don’t have to tell your child every detail about the violent incident. But give him the facts so his imagination doesn’t run wild.
• Accept your child’s feelings. If he’s sad or angry, for example, tell him that his emotions are normal, and he will get through them.
• Set an example. You don’t have to hide your feelings about the event. Instead, model healthy ways to express them.
• Continue family routines. Everyday activities remind your child that his life is stable.
• Discuss safety. Give your child tips for protecting himself. If he feels unsafe, he should trust his instincts.
• Talk about how the incident relates to your values.
Copyright © Parent Institute