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Being Real With Our Children in the CIS

Being Real With Our Children in the CIS

When the world is struck with a difficult situation, the instinct to shield our children from the effects of it is completely understandable. All children are different. They need different information to feel safe, they look for a different level of detail and they are impacted by different parts of the story. Nobody will know your children better than you do, so it’s important to manage the conversation based on who they are, what they already know, and what it means for them.

  • Let them know that what they’re feeling makes sense.
    We all respond to things in different ways. Whether they feel nothing at all or very deeply, let them know that whatever they’re feeling is completely okay. If they see that you can accept what they’re feeling, it will be easier for them to do the same.
  • Name what you see or hear from them. 
    Saying things like, ‘Oh don’t worry,’ or ‘Don’t be silly – nothing like that will happen here,’ though said with the best of intentions, can actually make them worry more, feel shame and shut down. Let them know that you get it by reflecting it back to them, ‘I can see you’re feeling scared. That’s completely understandable. It’s a frightening thing to happen.’
  • Be available.
    Let them know that they can come to you with questions, feelings, ideas, and thoughts and that nothing is off-limits. They might raise things with you or they might not, but at least you’re there if they need to.
  • Let them see your compassion, empathy, and resilience.
    It’s okay to let them know that you are sad for the people who have been hurt – this will nurture their empathy and compassion – but they also need to see your strength and capacity to cope with the news.
  • You are not alone.
    Encourage faith in the world and the people in it. Let them know that when something like this happens, the world comes together to look after each other and that people from all over the world are working to make the world safer for them.

    Being proactive in having the conversation with kids can ensure that you’re the one who sets the emotional tone for what has happened – not their friends, not social media and not the daily news. Show them that you have faith in their world and their ability to thrive in it.

Resources for the week:
– Something Bad Happened: A Kid’s Guide to Coping with events in the News, Dawn Huebner - Ages 6-12. How to process different world events.
– What To Do When You’re Scared & Worried: A Guide for Kids, James J Crist -Ages 9-13. A help guide to processing fears and worries. -For teens and young adults:

Warm regards,
The Counseling Team.

Ashwini K .R. – Elementary School | Manisha NinanMiddle and High School | Tanusree Durairaj – Boarding Counselor