TOP 5 THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS
1. GRIEVE - it's okay to show your authentic emotions and encourage children to as well. By allowing the grieving process to take place, you allow healing to take place as well. Ignoring or suppressing the feelings thinking this will make it go away, tends to have a negative impact on the body and mind and can keep a person 'stuck' in the negative cycle.
2. BE AVAILABLE - letting kids know that you are physically and emotionally open for discussions and information is very helpful for children and acts as a great resource for them when they are curious to figure out the world around them.
3. ACTION - many people want to help or take action in times like this however, it can be hard or overwhelming as to where to start.....especially if you live far away from the situation. Think of ways that you can be helpful such as making donations of food, money or blood or connecting with people through letters or social media.
4. SHOW PEACE - we can all be 'peaceful ambassadors' no matter where we live or how old we are. Showing peaceful gestures, kind words and actions both to ourselves and others, are always helpful in preventing further negative acts from happening and bringing people together in loving ways.
5. POSITIVE FOCUS - as the great Mr. Rogers always says, "Look for the helpers" in times of tragedy. It's hard to not be inundated with all the negativity when something bad happens however, if we can shift our focus to the positive, we see the goodness always working behind the scenes. The first responders, the police, military, medics and neighbours all act with such kindness and heroism that shines so much light on the darkness of the incident. Sharing this with children, is key in helping them to understand life's tragic moments.