When events such as the Boston Tragedy occur, it is difficult for us to find understanding in the midst of such terrible happenings. It is even more difficult to explain them to our children, whose view of the world may still be sheltered and innocent. How is the best way to talk to your children about the Boston Tragedy and other such horrible events that occur?
Honesty is always the best way to talk to your children but should be carefully tailored to their age. If they are very young, such as preschool age, they may not even be aware of what has happened. When dealing with that age, if they have no knowledge of what has transpired, you may be better off not acknowledging it until they do.
When dealing with children that are school age or older, they will undoubtedly hear about the Boston Tragedy from their peers as well as in classroom discussions. You need to address the events with your child but tell them an abbreviated version, according to their age and also, their personality. Answer any questions they have.
It is important to reassure your child of their safety in light of the Boston Tragedy. Children may fear that events such as this may happen to them. While you need to explain that events like this are beyond our control and there are evil people in our world, you need to balance that with the assurance that their world is safe and you will do everything within your power to always protect them.
It is also wise to limit how the amount of exposure they have to the news. Children may believe the events are ongoing rather than having happened once.
Watch for anxiety that doesn’t seem to be relieved by a parent’s comfort in the coming weeks as well as nightmares that last beyond two weeks. If you notice these problems or any others, contact your pediatrician for help.
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