Explaining scary, sad, and shocking events to our children is one of my least favorite parts of parenting. Not only is it painful, but it feels rife with possible pitfalls. In times like these, I always fall back on Mr. Rogers’ sage advice to “Look for the helpers.” Beyond that, staying in the conversation, staying open to questions and concerns, and setting aside time away from news and media are key.
Resources for families
Here are some solid resources that you may find helpful as we all process current events.
How to Explain to your Kids Why a Violet Mob Stormed the US Capitol is great for discussing recent event with tweens and teens.
This article, How to Process a Scary Day in the Nation with Your Kids, is particularly good for those with younger children.
But I advise reading Parenting While Shocked. As the local grown-up, I don’t need to be responsible for fixing everything; helping my girls process their sense that everything seems broken is enough first. Just to settle yourself down and give yourself some grace.
And here is a great podcast on the subject. From NPR’s Up First: What To Tell Kids When The News Is Scary:
“When the headlines are terrifying, how can parents make sure kids get the facts without traumatizing them? Whether it’s a school shooting, a global pandemic or an insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, child development experts have some advice. In this bonus episode brought to you by NPR’s Life Kit, hosts Anya Kamenetz and Cory Turner have answers.”
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with specific questions or concerns.
With Love Beyond Belief,
Shannon Boston, Executive Director of Lifespan Religious Education
Shannon Boston is the Executive Director of Lifespan Religious Education. Shannon leads our families each Sunday in online Family Chapel (9 a.m.) and Sunday School (9:30 a.m.) on our Facebook page. Explore our growing catalog of videos to help you be your children’s religious educator in the time of COVID-19.