When tragedy strikes, parents often find themselves doubly challenged. Not only are they processing their own feelings of grief and distress, but they’re also struggling to help their children do the same.
With the recent attacks in Paris, families all over the world are grappling with how to explain the tragic events to young people, from toddlers to teenagers. And we’re thirsty for guidance and affirmation; this week, a video of a Parisian father comforting his son went viral.
I wish I could tell you how to shield your children from pain and fear when tragedy strikes, especially when it’s close to home.
But I can't do that. That’s not the world we live in.
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist and the president of the Child Mind Institute, what I can do is share what I've learned about how to help children process disturbing events in the healthiest way possible.
You can't protect kids from grief, but you can help them express their feelings, comfort them, and help them feel safer.
Here’s what I recommend: