Look For the Helpers
All of this talk about the war in Israel and war can get overwhelming. The endless news reports and social media sharing. The graphic images and discussions about violence, killing, rape and torture. The talk between family and friends about what's happening in the Middle East. All of this can affect our kids.
Our children sometimes over hear these discussions and see the graphic images and begin to become fearful.
When they see adults get upset they pick up on that too.
They may be direct about it.
"Mom/Dad all this talk about terrorism, violence and war is making me feel uneasy and anxious."
But more than likely, their feelings may not be expressed directly or clearly. This anxiety and fear becomes displaced. It's seemingly ambiguous sometimes.
The War on Fear
Remember your kids look to you on how to deal with things. They are relying on you for a sense of safety and security.
Here's some basic tips on How To Talk To Your Children About Conflict & War:
~ Find out what they know and how they feel... Listen to them.
~ Keep the discussion calm and age-appropriate.
~ Spread compassion, not stigma.
Conflict can often bring with it prejudice and discrimination, whether against a people or country. Even if a conflict is happening in a distant country, it can fuel discrimination on your doorstep. Check that your children are not experiencing or contributing to bullying. If they have been called names or bullied at school, encourage them to tell you or an adult whom they trust.
~Close the conversation on a positive note.
~ Continue to check in w/them, see how they're doing, let them know you're there.
~ Limit the of news they consume (social & traditional media and your conversations about it as well!)
Focus on the Helpers!
Mr. Rogers (you know from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) said that...
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”
Becoming a Better Helper...
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