How to Explain Scary News to Kids
COVID 19 is changing the way parents handle their kids. It is the most challenging time to live, but life must continue. Staying at home brings with it extra responsibilities of ensuring that the information floating around is safe for your kids.
This article explores how to explain certain aspects of the realities ranging from divorce, drug addiction, and emotional support. These are topics parents cannot shy away from discussing with their kids.
Explaining Divorce to Kids
Since Covid 19 began, there has been a rise in the number of divorce cases. One attorney in San Diego said their firm processed 1,500 divorce cases within three weeks in April. Talking kids through divorce expectations is a way of stabilizing their emotions when separation finally happens.
The most critical thing to do is how to explain divorce to kids. Do not surprise them with short notices because that is traumatizing. Reassure kids on the life changes to expect without scaring them off.
Tell them that routines won’t change while focusing on good memories. Don’t gag them from discussing separation because it causes more pain. When conversing with them, please don’t go into the details as it will hurt.
One way that could help is talking to a therapist to get advice on how to communicate with the kids. When speaking to the kids, don’t speak negatively about each other. Another way of preparing to break the not so good news is by looking for online resources and books to educate yourself about divorce.
Also, give kids time to process the information because it is something that will impact their life forever. Remember, the process is very emotional, but you must reduce expectations as much as possible.
How to Explain Drug Addiction to a Child
Communicating addiction is hard both for the addict and family members or friends. The most important aspect is knowing the child’s cognitive ability. Make it very simple when explaining, like referring to addiction as a sickness.
Living with an addict causes stress and frustration and children should know they are not to blame for the situation. So, be very honest about the subject so that kids get a clear understanding. Tell them that people recover if they follow the guidance from professionals.
If one parent is addicted, the other one should be bold enough to protect and encourage the children. Family therapy is another way to get psychosocial support. It enhances communication flow within the family, thus helping to resolve conflicts.
Babies get emotional too, and because they don’t know how to express, it may show up in disrupted sleep patterns. An easy way to notice if something is amiss is by using a baby breathing monitor. The device monitors the heart rate, breathing, and checks body temperature.
Teaching Emotions to a Child
On how to explain emotions to a child, encourage him/her to talk about their feelings. Another way is making emotional faces and letting children react. That way, you will know if they correctly interpret emotions.
When explaining feelings, use simple words that kids will understand. Also, give real-life examples that kids can connect with easily. Don’t fake emotions so that kids can learn how to respond to similar situations.
Another way to explain emotions is by using visual presentations. Be sure to relate each visual with a child’s experience. Praise children for expressing feelings correctly and support them to practice more.
Now that you know how to explain different scary situations to your kid, why don’t you tell us about your experiences?
Amalia Liberman a wife and a mother of two as well as a novelist and writer, she has been featured in Women’s Health magazine and also written different articles in lifestyle magazines. Her roles as a mother and a social worker have allowed her to gain immense experience in communicating with children who are faced with uncertainties in life. Having worked with kids for over fifteen years now, she’s well versed in most issues affecting children and their physical and psychological development. Her passions lead her to search out knowledge and she doesn’t mind sharing her findings.