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Creating Emotional Safety In Kids After a Tragedy

Watching The News Is Not Creating Emotional Safety

If you think kids don't watch the News Your Wrong. They do and it sometimes worries them. Worse, sometimes it can be very hard creating emotional safety after they have watched it.

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Not all the time because if it is far enough outside their world experience, unfamiliar enough, distant enough in terms of time or just simply far enough away, they can disassociate.

But what if it happens in your own town?

What if it affects everybody?

What if it happens when your child or students are particularly vulnerable?

How do you go about Creating Emotional Safety then?

The television that brings the news is a problem in itself because it creates the illusion of closeness. So much so that when 9/11 hit with its destruction of the World Trade Center in New York, parents of my students came to me and asked if there was anything I could say that would help. The Kids were all in shock, even here in Australia and nobody knew what to say to them.

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Even with all my pastoral training, I was a bit in shock myself and this was my first real-life experience of dealing with large scale tragedy. Still, I knew I could help and I wanted to. But I was also a bit nervous because I needed to do this right.

Fortunately, I had written a piece I called "Sometimes" just a few days earlier as my own response, so I read it and it seemed to help. This was not of course the end of it all but it was a great start.

It was a great privilege to help my students work through those days and to work with their parents as they found ways of creating emotional safety for their children once more. I was fortunate in that I had the skills and the training and not everybody has those.

There are however many things that we can do to help our kids when a tragedy hits regardless of our skill level. "Helping Children Regain Their Emotional Safety After a Tragedy" is an article, that sets out things that can be done. The article is a bit long but it is well worth the read.

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