Americans see tragedy surrounding our children and families every day. Most of these events are broadcast on television news or constantly being discussed on the internet, in forums or on social network sites. Automobile deaths attributed to texting or other distractions, natural disasters that take the lives and homes of friends or relatives, or news stories about friends who decided to take their own lives because they couldn’t cope with their circumstances. We know friends who have been raped, beaten and murdered, and friends who have overdosed at parties. We’ve watched airliners being flown into buildings and witnessed victims jumping to their deaths. Online videos show us massive car wrecks and people being attacked by both animals and humans. Americans know tragedy. Our children know tragedy. But when tragedy strikes, how do we as parents, teachers, counselors or just friends help those who have witnessed or survived these traumatic events?
Media on Children
Young children, teens and even adults may be disturbed by images and stories of people getting hurt in the media or on TV. Children can become anxious and fearful about the world around them. It is important to keep an eye on your TV guide at the start of each week and be aware of what is scheduled during your children’s viewing time.
Try to watch television with your kids (especially during the News), listen for their questions and answer them honestly. Tragedies affect everyone, both children and adults. Children need to talk about their fears, frustration and disbelief. It is important that we are watchful for these emotions and encourage open discussions.