Hello concerned parent,
I woke up to a text notification from a friend this morning. She’d forwarded her daughter’s text to me…”hearing everything about Dallas is scaring me. You work in downtown Dallas. Please be careful mommy. I love you.” My heart ached for my friend and her daughter and the victims.
How can we as parents help our kids process this violence and their feelings? It’s hard to stay calm when this event raises our own anxiety and stress. But we know that we have to set our emotions aside so we can listen to and help our kids with their feelings. Help them talk about it from their perspective. Kids will want us to be near them, available to them. They want to be reassured that they, and we, are protected from harm. Some will want to reach out, to show their support. We can help them with this through our place of worship, reaching out in kindness to your local police department, sending cards, or posting on social media. Others may want to express their emotions artistically or by writing.
Don’t feel that we have to have all the answers. Sharing that we don’t understand violence is the truth. But it presents an opportunity to teach acceptance and empathy. And celebrate the commonality we share with every human on the planet.
May I suggest, too, that our kids, and we, take a break from the media. Watching it over and over again doesn’t speed healing. Healing happens in the heart of each of us going forward, united in our commitment to live in peace.
I’m united with you and your kids,