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The Basics

Tips for Grown-ups


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Arthur and his mom hug.
Listen and talk with your child.

When upsetting world events occur, children often pick up information about them at school, on TV or the Web, or from adult conversations. Children may feel scared, worried, upset, or confused by what they hear.

  • In order to better understand how to help your child, you may want to find out what he or she has heard or understand by asking: Did you hear anything about...? This is especially important in the case of public events that don't affect your child directly but still may seem scary.
  • Respect your child's attempts to make sense of what happened. You want your child to feel comfortable talking with you about confusing things.
  • Children often express thoughts and worries through their make-believe play. Listen and watch. You may want to gently join in, but let your child lead.
  • Answer questions honestly but briefly. Use simple words.
  • Not all children want to talk. That's OK. Sometimes it feels best just to sit close to each other or do something special together.
  • Some children may develop more intense anxiety feelings that may benefit from calming skills such as deep breathing or other relaxation methods.
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