When the Japan earthquakes and tsunami hit, I couldn’t help but have my eyes glued on the tv. The horrific images of rushing waters wiping out villages, nuclear explosions waiting to happen, buildings collapsing down…I was in disbelief on what I was seeing. But, I couldn’t peel away from it.
As adults, we can so easily get consumed with all these images. Unfortunately, just a few feet away, our kids are also watching these images. And as adults being overwhelmed by everything we are seeing, imagine what is going on in our kids’ minds. Fear can easily build up in their little hearts, worry and anxiety can build up in their simple minds.
As parents, we have a responsibility to also help our children process through traumatic events. Here are a few tips that can help you:
1. Limit and discuss media images with your child. Don’t let them be alone through all of it.
2. Tell them about positive things that are happening. Share about the rescues and heroes.
3. Encourage them to ask questions. This can create a positive and educational dialogue.
4. Educate yourself. Know what is developmentally appropriate to share with your child.
For more information and tips on what to share with your children after traumatic events, you can access free info online at www.nctsn.org.
Proverbs 22:6 says to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”