Talking to Your Kids about Current Events
The world can seem like a scary place these days, especially for a pre-teen or teenager trying to make sense of things. Many feel heightened anxiety, feeling unsettled, fearful and confused as to how to act. It is difficult enough as an adult to stay informed, keep calm and constantly adapt. How can you talk to your son or daughter about current events? Should they watch the news with you? What about accessing information over the internet?
Talk About The Truth Without Oversharing
Focus on what they can do to keep safe without creating a sense of panic and anxiety. Images of the effects of the coronavirus on the news may create undue stress and problems sleeping. Instead, focus on ways to stay calm, clear-headed, and safe.
- Explain that safety comes through physical distancing and proper sanitization. This doesn’t mean that your son or daughter have to fear going out and interacting with others. Instead, it’s about following good physical distancing practices and being more aware of their surroundings.
- Highlight that there is hope rather than focusing on the dismal state of events.
- Talk about the positive steps to deal with COVID-19 that are being taken around the world during the pandemic.
Encourage Your Child to Express Their Feelings
Ask your son or daughter how they are feeling about the pandemic. Listen to their response and show that you care about what has been expressed. Comfort comes from knowing that you believe your child’s feelings matter.
Your child may feel moved to do something about current events. In this case, it’s important for you to help your child find ways to make a difference, no matter how small the effort.
A quick Google search can help you find non-profit organizations that offer support for many of the events in the news. Be cautious though because you don’t want to be caught in a scam. Do the research necessary to validate these organizations and look for ways that your child can offer help.
These are stressful times for most people. Your son or daughter is going through their own sense of uncertainty, anxiety, and stress during these difficult times. There are many ways to help your child deal with their anxiety. For more information, please see the article that Tutors on Call has written: Five Strategies to Reduce Anxiety
Talking to your child while you’re anxious and upset about what you’ve heard on the news isn’t going to help. Your child feeds off of your emotions.
Therefore, it’s important to offer a calm, measured response to current events. Doing this allows your child to express how he or she is genuinely feeling. You can then have a meaningful discussion about how your child can make sense of things and deal with these feelings.
Your child is affected by current events and needs your help to make sense of them. Talk with your child without divulging too much upsetting information. Listen to your child to express his or her feelings and help your child find ways to help. Above all else, remember to keep calm so that your child doesn’t feed off of the negative feelings you have towards these events.