Children Don't Live In a Bubble
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Life happens and it is full of emotions. Children are not immune to any of the events that happen in our lives. Even if the event does not directly affect them, they can feel it when the adult in their life is stressed.
With all of the recent events in the news, children are bound to be exposed to the information at some point. How much is too much to share with children? Children cannot be sheltered from all bad things that happen. The piece that we have control over is to give them tools to handle this.
Young children may show emotion inappropriately merely because they don’t know how else to handle it. Having conversations with children about safety and how we as the adults in their lives will do our best to keep them safe, can give them reassurance.
Older children may show emotion in different ways as well. I have noticed in my own family, that my 8 year old tends to stick by my side and wants more attention when he is feeling uneasy about events in his life. He cries a little easier and has some built up anger in his interactions with others. I have found that giving him the extra attention and providing him with reassurance helps ease his mind. Eventually his needs can be met by taking the extra time with him.
A wise person once said to me, “Focus on what you can control.” We can empower our children by teaching them how to handle difficult emotions and by keeping communication open and really listening to what they need.
Ready To Learn Outreach Coordinator,
Detroit Public Television