Advertisement

EXPERT INTERVIEW: How to talk to children about tragedy

"Hug your kids. Love them. Tell them that there is a lot of joy in the world."
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 8:52 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - UW Health Psychologist Greg Rogers understands it can be hard for parents to check in on their child’s feelings and mental health.

“There are really wide individual differences and kids understanding of awareness of what happened. Understanding it, how they feel about it and for us, as adults, it’s important for us to simply provide the opportunity for them to share those thoughts and feelings,” Rogers said.

"Call on other trusted adults to help share that burden..."

He offered the following tips for initiating and navigating tough conversations with children:

PICK A TIME FOR CONVERSATION

“Creating a dedicated time and space to initiate a conversation with a child, to allow them ample opportunity to share whatever thoughts and feelings they have at a time when you’re not distracted. A time when you know kids are more likely to be talkative.”

FOLLOW CHILD’S CUES

“Not asking leading questions necessarily. you know, trying to ask those open-ended questions. That um, don’t assume anything about how the kids is dealing with it.”

DON’T PUSH THE CHILD TO OPEN UP

”That can be counterproductive and better to give the child a little bit of time and maybe try a different attack the next day. maybe enlist the help of somebody, somebody else who might get a different response from that child.”

REASSURE THEM OF THEIR SAFETY

EXPERT INTERVIEW: UW Health psychologist discusses talking to children about tragedy

Watch the full interview above for more detailed advice.

Copyright 2022 WBAY. All rights reserved.