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How to talk to your child about violent events

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How to talk to your child about violent events 
By drwhj421 on May 27, 2013 03:55 AM
How to talk to your child about violent events in the news by Ziba Kashef

Highlights What your preschooler knows and needs to know How to talk to your child about school shootings Answers to common preschooler questions about violent events in the news Next steps

What your preschooler knows and needs to knowVery few of us will ever be personally touched by a Columbinestyle school shooting or a gunman who opens fire in public. But when one of these events hits the news, all parents get anxious about their louboutin uk sale kids' safety. In most cases, a preschooler will never hear of the incident or wouldn't tune in enough to be frightened. But if your preschooler does catch wind of it most likely from TV news it can undermine her deep need to see the world, and especially her preschool or daycare, as a safe and predictable place. Even if the shooting happened in another state, this is a distinction that will be lost on your preschooler. "For the little ones, reactions to crisis tend to be nonverbal," says Ted Feinberg, assistant executive director of the National Association of School Psychologists. Your preschooler may act younger than usual, whine or cling more, throw tantrums, fall back in potty training, complain of stomachaches, or wake up more frequently at night. It's hard on you, but normal for her she's trying to revert to a time when she was younger and felt safer. As a parent, you have the challenge of helping your child feel secure when christian louboutin wedding shoes uk you're probably feeling insecure yourself. But remember that children this age react more to their parents' distress than to anything else. It's important to monitor your own emotions when your child is with you. Sticking to comforting routines and steering clear of repetitive, scary news reports will reassure you as well as your child. At her age, it's christian louboutin outlet fine to be oblivious to frightening news.

How to talk to your child about school shootingsFind out what your child knows. If your preschooler overhears talk about a school shooting or another type of violent event, don't assume her reaction will be the same as yours. She isn't yet capable of abstract thought. Even if your child learns about a disturbing event, she may quickly forget about it, especially if you remain calm. "Their feelings can be quite transitory," says Feinberg. Tell her that she's safe, and so is the rest of the family. "We're all okay, and we're going to be okay" are important words for her to hear. Resist the urge to say, "Don't be sad and scared." Her feelings are real, and she needs to be able to express them. Instead, say something like "I know you might feel worried because you've heard so much about what happened at that school [or church, or shopping mall]. But we are doing everything we can to be safe, and so are the people at your preschool."Stick to routines. After a scary event, you may be tempted to overprotect your preschooler and keep her close to you. But routines christian louboutin uk make preschoolers feel safe and secure. Don't skip preschool. Replays of frightening events may make a preschooler think that a single tragedy happened over and christian louboutin outlet uk over again. Keep the TV news off, and make sure graphic newspaper or magazine images are out of reach. It's common for preschoolers to assume that an event somewhere else in the country could strike them next and unfortunately, they're right. As adults, it's sometimes hard to be reassuring in the face of our own anxieties about random violence. Help Center Press Center Contact Us Site Map

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