I was deeply saddened to wake up to the news of the mass shooting in Colorado overnight. Of course, when tragedy strikes, we are surrounded by the story in the media, in our conversations, and in our hearts. So how can we help our children cope with this and other tragedies in the news?
Here are a few resources that may help you get started:
- Michelle Richards (UU Parenting Blog): “Talking with children about horrific news”
- From Parent Further (Parentfurther.com): “Dealing with Tragedies in the World”
- Update 7/23/2012: A video message on talking with kids about the Aurora tragedy from Reading Rainbow‘s LeVar Burton
- Update 12/14/2012: From University of Minnesota, “Talking To Your Children About Violence Against Kids”
- Statement from President Obama
- Trauma Response Resources for Families and Congregations from the UUA (Books titles, articles, etc.)
- Dealing With Grief: Five Things NOT to Say and Five Things to Say In a Trauma Involving Children By Rev. Emily C. Heath
Bottom line: When in doubt, be available, be patient, be loving.
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers
Send me your suggestions for books, videos, resources, and other tips that you would like to share on this topic by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or add a comment below.