It can be tough to talk to your children about what’s happening in the world. It’s a scary and sensitive topic. Editor-in-chief of Today’s Parent, Sasha Emmons and Toronto Star columnist, Uzma Jalaluddin share five tips and strategies for broaching these discussions with your kids.
Be proactive in talking to your kids
You don’t want them to get all their information from kids at school, and chances are, they’ve heard things. However, ask them what they know and let their questions be your guide to giving them the right amount of information.
Don’t scare them
If they’re young, kids may need to be reassured that what’s happening is far away and unlikely to happen to them. This may not be strictly true, but until around at least age seven, many kids may not be able to handle the idea that bad things happen.
Don’t freak out if they say something prejudiced
Absorbing and repeating stereotypes is a common step in a child’s development so don’t overreact if they say something that seems racist. But do use as an opportunity to talk, even if it’s uncomfortable, and you feel you’re stumbling through it. Books can help start the conversation with younger kids, the news media with older kids.
Watch what they’re watching
Limit exposure to media, and watch with them so you can be sure they’re getting news from a trustworthy source and you can discuss what they’re seen with them.
Look for the helpers & how you can help
Brainstorm together about what you can do to directly help with the problem or just put more kindness in the world.
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