For Parents: Module 1 - Understanding children's grief and finding teachable moments
Understanding children's grief and finding teachable moments
Chapter 3: Explaining tragic world events
Tragedies at home or elsewhere in the world provide opportunities for teaching children skills to:
- Express their emotions in healthy ways.
- Have compassion for others.
- Help one another.
Ways to build resilience
- Explore ways to be with difficult feelings such as sadness, anger, worry, and fear.
- Let them know their emotions are normal.
- Talk about the basic need of all people to be cared for and feel a connection with one another.
- Look at ways communities help people affected by tragedy. Use these examples to teach values of peace, tolerance, compassion and community service. For example:
- Following 9/11, the people of Gander, Newfoundland opened their homes, hearts, and kitchens for five days to the 7000 passengers whose planes were re-routed to their town.
- Fire fighters from Mexico flew to Canada to assist with wildfires that affected Fort McMurray, Alberta.
- Encourage them to think about how they can make a difference in their world – with family, friends, school and community.
Approaches like these help address the helplessness both children and adults often feel in the face of tragedy.