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Resource from Fred Rogers Center: Talking with Children about Scary Events

This past week, we saw many difficult and frightening images in the news. While young children might not be able to fully understand the events in Washington DC, there are still ways that we can have supportive conversations to ease their fears and answer their questions in a developmentally appropriate way. In an effort to assist with these conversations, the Fred Rogers Center team recently shared a printable guide entitled Talking with Children about Difficult Things in the News.

The Fred Rogers team, which supports educators, parents, and caregivers in their important work with children, developed the resource to provide considerations for adults to talk with children about difficult current events in the news. Using Fred Rogers’ philosophy and communication as a guide, the resource was developed to help you provide care and compassion for the needs of children during these challenging times. It is through relationships with caring adults that children find safety, trust, and the ability to voice their own feelings about the uncertainty and challenges we all are facing. Some suggestions from the print-out include…

  • Let children know that their feelings are always safe with you, whether they are feeling worried, angry, sad, or anything at all. As Fred Rogers reminds us, “anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that’s mentionable can be more manageable.”

  • Difficult news takes a toll on all of us. To care for the children in our lives, it is important to care for ourselves. Set boundaries around your own news intake, take moments to rest, and find a support network for yourself.

  • Even when you are overwhelmed, unsure of what to say, or are struggling, you are just what the child in your life needs and you are enough.

This resource might be helpful in your own work, or a supportive resource to share with parents who might be seeking information about how to navigate these difficult conversations with their children. Click here for the printable resource.

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