For our children world events like the situation in Afghanistan, the earthquake in Haiti and at home the tragic shooting in Plymouth can be not only upsetting but confusing too. As parents, it can be difficult to think about how to talk about such harrowing events whilst reassuring your children. At Childline we recognise how important it is for our children and young people to find out more about what’s happening in the world. To explore their online world to keep connected and for their learning. But it is also important for children to know there is support and understanding if they should see something upsetting both in the news or online.
So, if your child does reveal they are struggling with the news events or has come across something online that has upset or worried them then it is important to remain calm in the first instance. To listen to their concerns. At Childline our counsellors talk about the importance of sharing concerns with a trusted adult. When we worry about the world around us it can for our children and young people cause them to imagine bad things happening to us all of the time.
It’s OK to feel down but it’s also important to talk about what’s going on and make sense of things. The Childline moderated message boards are a safe platform for children and young people to express themselves, get support and understanding from their peers.
And finally, it is important our children understand that it is ok to take a break from the news and social media. It can be tempting to want to know more about what's happening but sometimes it can make our anxiety worse. So perhaps doing something different, like a favourite hobby or doing normal things that are familiar will help them feel less anxious. And remember Childline is always here, via Childline.org.uk or via 0800 11 11