Recently, I was at gymnastics watching my grandson when some parents began sharing their dismay of the violent events that occurred in Paris. They were wondering how to help their children navigate such sadness and devastation. My go to guy is always Dr. Fred Rogers…yes Mr. Rogers. Even though, he doesn’t have the bells and whistles of the new children’s television shows, he is a renowned expert in Early Childhood. Let me share some of his insights with you.
- The children are keenly aware of their parent’s expressions and voices.
- They do KNOW something is wrong by watching and listening to the significant people in their lives.
- Media coverage is very confusing and scary for young children.
- The same video segment may be shown over and over again, for your child these are separate events.
- Children can’t tell the difference between what is close and what is far away, what is real and what is pretend, or what is new and what is rerun.
- When there is tragic news, the images on TV are most often much to graphic and disturbing for young children.
- Turn off the TV – perhaps watching it only after they have gone to bed would be best.
Here is the gold nugget:
“When your child does see scary things in the news, look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. Children are comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world. Help your children focus on the helpers.”