Here is some helpful information when talking to your kids about the tragic shooting in Las Vegas.
Child life specialists typically work with children who are facing medical challenges, but they also work with children of adult patients. When a caregiver receives a health diagnosis the magnitude of stress, anxiety and fear can be overwhelming because they have children to care for. They don’t know how to explain the illness to their kids, they aren’t sure how it will disrupt their lives and the heaviest one, they don’t want to die and have their kids go through life without them.
In the U.S. 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Rethink Breast Cancer has teamed up with Morgan Livingstone a Certified Child Life Specialist to create free resources to help families cope with a breast cancer diagnosis.
This unique animated series, called MISSION: Recovery is illustrated by Clayton Hanmer and uses an imaginary world combined with the thoughts and voices of real kids who have had a parent with breast cancer to offer helpful strategies and tips to help children understand the disease, what their parent is going through, the feelings they may be experiencing themselves, and the importance of asking for help when they need it.
The Black Dot Returns
They have also created fun activities to do with kids based on Mission: Recovery.
To learn more tips to help young families cope with breast cancer, check out Rethink Breast Cancer.
The moment I heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris, I knew that once again children were being exposed to trauma. Adults will be glued to televisions, tablets and smart phones to get the latest updates of this horrific event. They will have conversations with other adults on the soccer field, coffee shops and over the phone. Our security and safety has once again been jeopardize and we begin to think, what if it happens here?
We may not even realize that watching the news coverage or talking to others about it, that we are exposing kids to trauma, fear and anxiety. I think that it is important to have conversations with children about what is happening in the world, but to do so in appropriate doses and using language that they will be able to understand. You also want to reassure them of their safety, validate their feelings and give them opportunities to process these events in various modalities.
Here are some great articles to help ease the fear associated to trauma and terrorism:
Talking With Kids About News PBS fills this with a breakdown of how to start the conversations, age by age, listening, and play opportunities.
My deepest condolences to the victims and their families in France. My heart is heavy and I will be sending love and prayers your way.