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4 ways parents should comfort their kids after a tragedy

 

In an ever-dangerous world reported on by round-the-clock media, the emotional effects of major tragic events transcend local boundaries. They trouble the national psyche, bringing sadness, anger, fear and anxiety throughout the country, and they can make a particularly heavy impact on children and teens.
Two of the five deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history occurred in a recent five-week span – the killing rampage on November 5 at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that left 26 dead, which followed the murder of 58 at the Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas.

Such horrific news, for which there are no easy answers, often prompts questions from kids to their parents. Parenting experts say that while these tragedies are difficult to explain, it is vital that parents be especially tuned in to their kids and help them through a period that can be confusing, scary and traumatic.
“All parents want to protect their children from pain, including emotional pain,” says Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio, a family therapist and author of Simple Habits of Exceptional (But Not Perfect) Parents.
“These crimes frighten and confuse all of us, regardless of age and whether or not the latest one happened near where we live. We want our kids to know that we’re right there with them, and that we’ll help them get through the mess of feelings they must be having.”
Dolan-Del Vecchio gives four tips to help parents comfort their kids in the wake of
national tragedies:

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