Tweens Guide

Tips on talking about bad news to kids

Fear can be dangerous!

The modern world is indeed full of scary events and bad news. Every day, as you turn the pages of newspapers or shuffle through news channels, you will certainly find yourself surrounded by numerous events and happenings which are bound to cast dark shadows for years to come. Be it the vivid pictures which displayed the burning twin towers or the blurred videos that portrayed mass murders, there is just no escape from it. More so, with booming technology and rising gadgetry, your children too are sure to come in contact with such news on a regular basis.

At these disturbed times, it becomes important that you follow certain guidelines to introduce your child to the complexity of this troubled world. Here are a few tips which could aid you in letting your child sail through:

1. Let the kids bring it up

Until your child attains the age of seven, let him/her bring up the matter first. There will be numerous sources from which he/she would have picked up the news but if you discuss it first, your child will attach undue importance to the subject. He/she will form an opinion that the event, because it was talked about by his parents, is of extreme significance. So, despite the gravity of the happening, let your child take the initiative and come up to you.

2. Comfort your child

You definitely do not need to tell your child the truth in its entirety. If a lie comforts them, so be it. Keep it simple and straight. Tell them that the world, just like their books, is composed of good and evil characters. Even if the evil ones commit the most heinous crime, the good ones will ultimately win. Such explanations will not just be comforting but also reassuring for them. Also make them feel protected and liked. They should know that no matter what happens out there, they will remain safe within the four walls of their home.

3. Inquire about their feelings

Never assume that your child is already aware of the details. Ask him everything about what he has heard or seen. Try and judge what he/she might be feeling at that point. Would he be scared or just curious? Does she want protection or mere answers? Once you gauge what goes on in their minds, act accordingly. Not only would this help them open up to you but they would also feel secure and loved.

4. Make good use of this moment

Disturbed moments may actually be channelized in a proper manner and converted into enlightening accounts. Teach the lessons of life to your child while dealing with such issues. Tell them to distinguish between good and bad, truth and lies or positives and negatives. If possible, narrate stories of similar circumstances which were overcome solely with patience and persistence.

However, if the tragedy is closer to home, you will need to work extra hard to shield your kid from its effects. In this case, nothing but a true account will matter. Your comforting and reassuring powers will be really tested here as personal tragedies tend to leave a lasting impact. In such a situation, it would be advisable to construct as normal an atmosphere as possible at home. It is only when the child is taught to put the past to rest and move on towards a brighter future, can he/she truly develop a sense of balance and understanding. Make sure that as a parent or a guardian, you give it your best shot!

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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