CLEVELAND — Tragedies bring about a flood of emotions that can be difficult to handle, even for adults.
Parents also have the challenge of helping their kids cope.
On Fox 8 News in the Morning Friday, Dr. Deborah Gilboa reassured parents and said it all starts with listening.
“Ask them questions,” Gilboa advised. “What do you know? What do you think? What do you feel? Get a sense of what they’re looking for from you.”
Parents sometimes assume their kids have the same emotional response to tragedies as they do, but that’s not always the case.
“We know that there’s no way to keep our kids safe from everything. We can do two things,” she explained.
First, help children understand your own confidence in safety measures that are in place. Second, raise your kids to think of themselves as problem solvers and give them the skills to find resources.
Gilboa said you can empower a child by reminding him he has a voice.
“If something’s going on, my expectation is that you will feel safe at school, and if you don’t, I want to know it, and your teachers want to know it,” Gilboa said as if she were speaking to a child.
If a parent is too shaken up by a tragedy or other stressful situation, it is best if he speaks with someone on his own level first, then has a conversation with the kids. However, one should never repress feelings or attempt to be stoic.
For more advice, watch the video above.