Raising Kids through Tragedy
Raising kids through tragedy
As we get older, we become more aware of the dangers in this world. It seems everywhere we turn there is tragedy. As a parent, it is difficult to navigate parenting without this overwhelming feeling of fear for our children. How do we protect them? How do we raise them to not fear the world or project our terrified feelings on them as we send them off to school?
Raising kids on the offense
It is important to be ahead. By ahead, I mean having the hard conversations with our children before problems arise. Tell them about the world on a small scale. There are several opportunities during our day to have conversations about right and wrong, about injustice and justice, and about feelings. If we do this offensively, when tragedy strikes, there is a much better perspective. Let’s take the movie Cinderella for example. This, along with several ot
her kids’ movies, offer opportunities for discussion about the world. Death, bullying, abuse, right and wrong, along with love, kindness, optimism, hard work. Bringing awareness to these topics prior to being faced with a traumatic event or crisis allows children to better comprehend these issues when they see it.
Raising kids on the defense
When there is something tragic, either in your household or in the world, we, as parents, are immediately put in defensive mode. The cortisone in our brain begins to release and we feel a sense of stress and fear. At times this can cause us to make parenting decisions based on fear. We find ourselves having ill-prepared conversations with our kids. They become exposed to things that we fear will change their perspective on the world, so we find ways to alter the information to soften the blow.
So how do we parent when there is tragedy?
Helping kids through tragedy
PBS kids released an article after the school shooting in Texas on “Helping Children with Tragic News”. In this article they discuss three main points on helping kids along with several actionable tips. A few of those guidelines are to help children feel more secure include:
· Comforting them, allowing them to process their feelings about the event
· Turning off the TV, protecting them from violent images or words
· Talking and listening.
Most importantly parents, taking care of you is your best defense to raising your children. You can read the PBS article here for more helpful tips on this topic