Parenting Simplified- How to help your Kid Deal With Tragedy
In times like these, it must be terribly hard for children to face tragedies so early on. The corona virus has taken the world by storm and our loved ones are all at risk. Be it during such trying times such as this pandemic or dealing with the death of a pet. Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned and, as parents, equipping your child to deal with any kind of loss is the best thing you can do. So, what can you do to help your child? Bad parenting can lead to even more adverse reactions out of your child so how do we do this in an informed and right way? Let’s take a look at some ways but before that let’s learn more about the minds of children.
Parenting children and their mental health
Children’s mental health is very delicate and most of their lifelong experiences depend on it. Unprocessed trauma leads to a lot of problems later on in life that would have adverse effects on your child. It can also lead to failure to maintain relationships with people and various disorders like eating disorders. Research has also found that unprocessed trauma can lead to triggering underlying mental health issues and amplifying it.
Children with eating disorders are known for eating away their feelings or taking part in binge eating which again leads to a whole lot of other health issues.
Did you know?
About 25% of victims and witnesses of violence develop PTSD, depression or anxiety disorders. These can cause major issues in their psyche.
So now comes the big question, how do we help kids deal with this kind of thing? Let’s take a look at some:
- Understand their coping mechanisms
There are different ways in which different children react to a tragedy. Some may withdraw and need their own space while others may become more social and choose to stay outside with their friends or hit the playground more often. As long as there is constant communication of feelings, and the coping mechanism is healthy, it is not a problem.
Explaining topics like death can be tricky when it comes to the younger lot. One way you can do it is by letting your child know it is okay to speak to you about anything. Be mindful of the fact that communication with your child may not always be vocal, it can even be through ways like art where the child can draw out how they feel. Rephrase your responses with them. For example, if your child tells you that he or she is feeling worried or anxious, refrain from responding with the classic “don’t worry it’ll be okay” because that will instill shame in them for feeling that way and close the conversation. Instead respond with “I can see you are worried, talk to me it’ll make you feel better and I can understand you better too”.
- Support them better
If you are looking up on the internet for parenting tips, it can be as easy as being a pillar of support for your child. And that can be done in many ways, some of them being easier than you think. Cuddling with your child at bedtime can do wonders for your child as they’d feel less alone. Most children who face a tragedy have nightmares and that sends them spiralling and withdrawing. Bedwetting is a common phenomenon you can see in children and supporting them through all this is important.
Safety is an important aspect for every child and they have to feel safe with their surroundings and you. Protect your younger kids from negative news as this can be a trigger sometimes. It is important to know that children have very impressionable minds and we as parents need to make sure to monitor what they watch online.
- Professional Help
This is a staple. Especially with a withdrawn child who is clearly really upset. Give them the support they need and sometimes that can’t be given by you right away and that’s okay. Positive parenting comes into play better under better guidance.
We are in the middle of a world crisis. It’s important to make sure everyone is okay, even the younger ones in the family. Though it is tough times, family is family be it your adopted one or your biological one! You can do your part and take care of yourself as best you can along with the little ones. We’re all in this together and there is always professional help that mustn’t shy away from taking!