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Helping kids understand current events

Helping kids understand
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Posted at 3:12 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 08:20:41-05

Children are more aware of what is going on in our world than we realize.

What happened at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday is no exception.

Marie Collins, executive director of family tree information, education, and counseling center, said that when adults talk to children about historic and important events they need to remember their age.

She said never assume that a child has not heard what is going on in the world.

She said it is best to get down to their level and asked what they have heard, how this makes them feel, and let them lead the conversation.

"You want to meet them where they are," Collins said. "You don't want to have to over explain it or under explain it. You can ask them what they've heard and go off of what they know....whether it's good information or not good information that you can correct."

For older kids, the conversation can go a bit deeper.

Collins said ask them what they have heard from teachers, other kids, and other adults.

What have they seen on social media and on television and how does this make them feel?

She said being able to put their feelings into words is the most important part of the conversation.

"To be able to give them words, whatever they are angry, mad, sad or frustrated," Collins started. "You want to give them words because words give them power. When they can say that frustrated me when...it gives them some control over themselves."

Collins said that our brains naturally try and piece things together. She said most children are just getting bits of information and their brains are trying to make sense of it all.

For younger children, Collins suggested showing them a map of where Washington D.C. is located and where they live. It may make them feel safer.

She said children may see what is going on and not realize that it is not happening in their own back yard.

Collins suggested, if you notice that your child's mood and behavior is changing then you may want to seek professional help.