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How to Share Bad News with Kids

We are raising children in a world where social media makes it  difficult to filter the news.  It is important for parents to have a strategy to help their children process and make sense of bad news.  Healthychildren.org has put out a wonderful resource to help  parents navigate these difficult waters.  I would like to summarize some of the most important messages in the report.  Feel free to access the report directly at bit.ly/2vQ97Ma.

a) Understand your child’s developmental level and ability to process news before starting your conversation.

b) Explain the event in simple terms and provide time for your child to ask questions.

c) Try not to project your own feelings and fears.  Often times, children have simple concrete thoughts about these complex tragedies.

d) Remind your child that it is your job to keep them safe.

e) Spend extra time together, revisit the topic over time, and look for nonverbal signs that child might be struggling with news (i.e. difficulty sleeping,  fatigue, headaches).

f) It is alright to show your emotions and to answer “I don’t know the answer to that question”.

 

If you have any comments or questions,  please call us and make an appointment with Premier Pediatrics!

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