Parenting Strategies when Bad Things Happen – Talking to Preschoolers about Tragedies
***** THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY RUN ON BONBON BREAK IN AUGUST OF 2012, HOWEVER, WE SAW THE NEED TO RUN IT AGAIN AS A VALUABLE RESOURCE TO OUR READERS*****
Mom, what happened?
The Colorado shooting has come and gone, but we’re left trying to explain things to The Littles. One well-meaning mom criticized me on Twitter for even suggesting we talk to young children about violence. “Why even bring it up?” she wondered.
Her life is much more insular than many of ours — I have a 2-year-old. But I also have a 6-year-old. And a 9-year-old. And an 11-year-old. And those kids have completely different levels of awareness and understanding of these situations — and they talk. In front of The Littles. So parents like us need talking points for those tricky situations.
So here are my thoughts about how to navigate these unavoidable conversations. Let’s be ready, because unfortunately, it won’t be the last time.
ABOUT HEATHER: I’m a licensed psychologist with a PsyD degree. My specialty is in the development of babies, toddlers, preschoolers — and parents. My husband and I have four young children. I’m interested in using social media to help the public understand the complex — but important — world of child development. Live television and video are my favorite ways to connect with parents. I’m the sole writer and producer here at BabyShrink. My company, BabyShrink LLC, also consults with universities and corporations to reach families with young children via social and traditional media.
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