Are your kids asking you questions you can’t answer? Here’s some tips on Talking about the Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and other news with your children.
“God is just not nice right now,” my 8-year-old announces this morning. “Why honey?!” I ask, startled! “Because a lot of people are dying. He’s making a lot of people die. From an earthquake.” I reach out, pulling him close as my mind races for the right answer…. “Honey, I’m not sure God makes it happen, but He helps us and gives us strength when these types of things do happen.” And while my son’s words didn’t say this, what my child also meant was, “This scares me, Momma. And I don’t understand it.” He was struggling to understand what happened and needed my guidance and reassurance.
Do you ever find yourself without answers to your kids’ questions? As parents, sometimes WE struggle for what to say to our sweet kids. And while you may not know how to answer and what to say – NOT answering their questions is worse. It doesn’t address their feelings and concerns.
The Empowered Mom℠ arms herself with tools when tackling the tough stuff. Not sure how to talk about major news stories with your kids? Here’s some tips you can use when talking to your kids about what’s happening in the world or in the news.
- Don’t ignore it! Especially if they’re already aware something is going on. Don’t act as if it’s not happening. This is a chance to let your kids voice their thoughts.
- Address their concerns and their fears. Ask them questions such as ‘what do you think of that?’ and ‘what scares you about that?’ Often times, kids aren’t sure of their own feelings and this gives both of you a platform to talk about it.
- Use as a teaching tool. This is where kids learn a lot about the values and morals of your family. Talking about it together as a family can reinforce their sense of security. A sense they are protected. This is great time to talk about being prepared. You can talk about emergency measures in your household and your town. That’s why you have fire drills, etcetera – so if something did happen, your family is already prepared.
- Keep it Age Appropriate. Turn off the computer or the TV if it’s too scary for them. They can’t make sense out of a lot of it and feel overwhelmed. This can cause your kids anxiety and an overall sense of fear. Having spent years in the news business as an anchor and reporter, I know it’s not all appropriate for kids. Your toddler or 4-year-old can’t process what’s happen, and seeing it over and over can be scary.
- Reassure them. Let them know you’re there protecting them. Remind them you’re keeping them safe. Tell them what you hope for and how others are already helping out around the world. More than anything, your kids want comfort knowing they’re going to be okay. They want reassurance.
- Keep a Balance. Balance their awareness of world,national or local events with living your own lives. Sometimes they see or hear about something at one part of the day and then go on to something else. Come back to it, especially if they talked about it in school. Most of all, continue on with your normal day, as much as possible.
Your children look to you for guidance, for answers and security. Offering these gives your kids power — and that is living as The Empowered Mom℠.