- Acknowledge and validate your child's thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Let them know that you think their questions and concerns are important and appropriate.
- Give children honest answers and information. Children will usually know, or eventually find out, if you're “making things up.” It may affect their ability to trust you or your reassurances in the future.
- 3. Be prepared to repeat information and explanations several times. Some information may be hard for them to accept or understand. Asking the same question over and over may also be a way for a child to ask for reassurance.
- Remember that children tend to personalize situations.
- Children learn from watching their parents. They are very interested in how you respond to local and national events. They also learn from listening to your conversations with other adults.
- Don't let children watch too much news coverage with frightening images. The repetition of such scenes can be disturbing and confusing.
Fortunately, most children are quite resilient. However, by creating an open environment where they feel free to ask questions, we can help them cope with stressful events and experiences, and reduce the risk of lasting emotional difficulties.
Adapted from the research done by David Fassler, M.D.
David Fassler, M.D.is a clinical professor in the department of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine