Children who have experienced trauma and tragedies do not just get over it. As a parent or guardian, it is very hard figuring out what to say, but it is crucial that you help the child get through the ordeal. You must be patient, tender, and caring. Here are four things you need should say to children who have witnessed a tragedy.
Encourage Them to Share Their Feelings
In the wake of a tragedy, your child has experienced, encourage them to share what they feel. While you might want to assure them that everything will be fine, you will say more meaningful things when you listen to them without interruption. This way, you will be in a position to help them accept their feelings and they will understand that they will be fine.
Share Your Feelings
Sharing your feelings with the child will be more beneficial to them rather than bottling up your feelings. It will not only see that you understand the seriousness of the tragedy, but they will open up to you with ease. Telling them how you feel although you are upset shows them that you can pull through the tragedy and move on with life. Your feelings might also replace the feelings of insecurity in your child.
Focus On the Good
In the wake of a tragedy, there will also be acts of heroism by doctors, ordinary citizens, police, and the military that restore faith in humanity. By pointing out the good done following a tragedy, you can reassure the child that the tragedy will pass and there is good in the world.
Give Them Reassurance
Tragedy such as terror attacks rattles our sense of safety and children are most affected. You can lessen the feelings of trauma in your child by reassuring them that you will be there for them, things will get better, they are safe as well as the people they care about, and they can ask questions anytime. To make it believable, point out the measures put in place to avoid such tragedies in the future, such as how the government has increased security and surveillance.