The world can be intense a lot of the time. For adults, worldwide situations can come as a shock to us as we figure out what we can do to help or support areas in crises or how certain events may affect our own country or even us on a personal level.
It is normal and natural for us to be stressed, worried, or even scared ourselves. The pandemic has undoubtedly highlighted how, when something happens in the world, it can affect us all. We are at a stage when our news channels are on 24/7, and the headlines can be quite grim, leaving us wondering how we explain scary worldwide events to our kids.
As their own imaginations spiral and their fears and worries creep in, we can talk to them and help them understand worldwide events.
Our children reflect our emotions. When events are frightening, it can be difficult to hide our feelings, but our children will feel scared if they see us reacting in the same manner. Staying calm reassures our kids that they are safe and supported. Use a gentle tone of voice, and comfort them even if your insides are churning.
And yet, while we remain calm, we cannot hide the truth about certain events. It is not helpful for a child, especially if they hear the reality of events from friends in school. Instead, depending on your child’s age, development, and level of understanding, talk to them about what is happening. Without discussing the situation, children may allow their imaginations to run away with conflicting or wrong information.
Help Them Recognise What They Can Control
When the world is spiralling, we can feel as though we are falling down with it. The intensity of the past year has taught us to focus on what we can control and not on the catastrophe that was happening around us. We can help our children see what they can control in their own lives. The greatest example is handwashing during the pandemic.
Give Them The Good News
We can naturally focus on the negativity that surrounds these scary and intimidating worldwide events. That loss of control is unnerving and fosters powerful anxiety. Instead, help your child see what other people are doing to support, guide, protect, and help those around us and further afield.
Talk Often And Encourage Questions
With the changes that are happening in our world and how fast events seem to shift and change, we need to encourage our kids to ask questions and to continue talking to us, especially when they are feeling anxious or upset. There are never any silly questions.