The Boston Marathon explosions yesterday took the lives of 3 innocent people, injured many others, and left a nation wondering “why?” Many families feel frightened as parents wonder how to talk about this tragedy with their children. Here are some Dos and Don’ts when it comes to exposing your child to this and other potentially traumatizing news stories.
Don’t: Leave the TV or radio news channels on while your child is home.
Do: Minimize child’s exposure to the traumatic situation.
Children can experience vicarious trauma by watching or listening to tragic events on news programs over and over again. Protect children from watching first-hand footage and news stories. Young children may not be able to distinguish that this event has already happened.
Don’t: Pretend that nothing traumatic has happened.
Do: Ask your child what they know about the event.
If your child is aware that a tragic event has occurred ask your child what they know and how they feel. Share the only the basic facts surrounding the event to clear up any misconceptions they may have.More